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Photo#481871
Yellow-striped Armyworm - Spodoptera ornithogalli

Yellow-striped Armyworm - Spodoptera ornithogalli
Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, USA
August 5, 2010
One found on Butterfly Weed, the other on White Clover. Interesting that the "face" of the larger caterpillar is all black, the "face" of the smaller one is red + black, and the "face" of smaller, younger cats (not shown here) is all red.

Images of this individual: tag all
Yellow-striped Armyworm - Spodoptera ornithogalli Yellow-striped Armyworm - Spodoptera ornithogalli Yellow-striped Armyworm - Spodoptera ornithogalli Yellow-striped Armyworm - Spodoptera ornithogalli

im curious?
did you rear these out? they look like the (Hodges#11003.1) (Noctua pronuba)i reared out..all my books burned in my house so i cant read up on this. but take a look at

 
How I tell them apart
I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am about your fire. After people and pets, I would consider the most devastating loss to be the loss of my books.
You're absolutely right to point out that the Spodoptera ornithogalli larva and the Noctua pronuba larva can look incredibly similar. The way that I tell them apart is to look for a large black spot on the side of A1 above the spiracle. This spot is often (though not always) seen on the Yellow-striped Armyworm, but not on the Large Yellow Underwing.
I'll paraphrase about the Yellow-striped Armyworm from Wagner's caterpillar book: Abdominal segments frequently with set of four, thin, white stripes beneath subdorsal stripe...Often with a black spot on A1 above spiracle...Many have rusty line beneath each spiracle which may join to form thin subspiracular stripe.
I've added a few photos which show the details of the anatomy I used to identify these fellows.
I didn't rear these to adulthood, but I'm so glad that you got to see your Noctua pronuba through their development. I wish you the best of luck in replacing your books - what a terrible loss!

 
Based on that black spot...
the caterpillar shotguneddie linked to is also a yellow-striped armyworm, correct?

 
Yellow-striped Armyworm
Yes, I agree. In fact, it looks as if it has just been re-identified and moved to the Yellow-striped Armyworm page. :)

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