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Photo#442256
Unidentified larvae infesting coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) - Argyrotaenia

Unidentified larvae infesting coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) - Argyrotaenia
Carpinteria Bluffs, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
August 14, 2010
Size: 1.5 cm
At the eastern end of the Carpinteria Bluffs, near the Lois Sidenberg overlook, the coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) currently is heavily infested with these larvae. I assume they are some kind of caterpillar, but am unsure beyond that. Some googling turns up mentions of Argyrotaenia franciscana (Orange Tortrix) and Aristoteliae argentifera as possible infesters of coyote brush; any chance these are either of those?

Images of this individual: tag all
Unidentified larvae infesting coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) - Argyrotaenia Unidentified larvae infesting coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) - Argyrotaenia Unidentified larvae infesting coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) - Argyrotaenia Unidentified larvae infesting coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) - Argyrotaenia

Moved
Moved from Unidentified Webworms. We'll move them to genus to see if anyone working there recognizes them.

Moved

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Some brief videos
I took a few short videos of these guys. They had an interesting way of quickly burrowing backwards into hiding when disturbed; you can see it (sort of) in the videos. See this longer video and this shorter video.

 
Leaning toward orange tortrix
After reading through the descriptions of insects known to feed on coyote brush, I'm thinking these probably are orange tortrix (Argyrotaenia franciscana). I don't think I have permission to move the images to that species node, though.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for adult moths in the area, and see if I can get some photos to help confirm the ID. I've also posted some additional images of the larvae and their webbing in an item on my blog.

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