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Photo#635295
Caterpillar on Euphorbia dentata - Megalographa biloba

Caterpillar on Euphorbia dentata - Megalographa biloba
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
April 29, 2012
I've never noticed a caterpillar eating Euphorbia dentata before. I hope that is a big clue as to the identity of this caterpillar. The plant pictured is not the one the plant was on when I found it. In fact, it wasn't on a plant at all. I found it in a pot, walking around in circles, looking for another host plant. The one it had been munching on had been completely devoured. From the skeleton of the plant, I could tell it was most likely E. dentata, so I placed the caterpillar in a pot with another E. dentata plant. It took only about a minute after it started moving around, before it found the plant and climbed up it. I was impressed how it went up to the top and clung to the underside of the midrib. Seemed very precarious, but I guess that affords some safety from predators. Anyway, I have it in a container now that should prevent its escape, and I hope to rear it to adulthood. I should be able to tell right away if it likes the euphorbia, unless it's ready to pupate, in which case, it probably wouldn't have climbed up the plant.

Images of this individual: tag all
Caterpillar on Euphorbia dentata - Megalographa biloba Caterpillar on Euphorbia dentata - Megalographa biloba Caterpillar on Euphorbia dentata - Megalographa biloba Caterpillar on Euphorbia dentata - Megalographa biloba Caterpillar on Euphorbia dentata - Megalographa biloba

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

I just posted a picture of th
I just posted a picture of the adult. It certainly looks like Megalographa biloba to me. Are there other moths that are very similar?

Deleted image of plant becaus
Deleted image of plant because I did not witness the caterpillar eating a E. dentata leaf. This morning, I checked the plant in the keeper, and three of the leaves are woven together to hold a cocoon.

Something in Plusiinae
Will have to check the new Noctuid book to see if we can go further.

 
I don't think it's a Noctuid
I don't think it's a Noctuid larva. I did see something in a book yesterday that looks close to the image though. Will try to hunt down that reference again.

 
Megalographa biloba
Interesting. Look at the comment about bilobed looper attached to this entry: which would make it Megalographa biloba.

 
The looper images don't match
The looper images don't match the posted images. I'm very familiar with loopers, and the posted images look like something else. The bodies are quite different, and the posted images have sizable dots on the sides, unlike loopers which have lines on their sides.

 
Are you suggesting, then, tha
Are you suggesting, then, that this one is misidentified?

 
No, I'm not suggesting that p
No, I'm not suggesting that picture is misidentified. I'm suggesting that the four posted pictures at the top (subject of the ID request) are probably not of looper caterpillars. The three images directly above this message are definitely loopers though.

 
Now I'm confused. I thought y
Now I'm confused. I thought your reason for suggesting my caterpillar was not a looper was that it didn't have stripes but had spots. So I posted another picture of one without stripes but with spots, and it is a looper? Perhaps it is the posture of the caterpillar that keeps you from thinking it's a looper. I don't have any good pictures that show a typical looper pose. I'm adding a bad picture, which I will shortly frass.

Anyway, looper is just a common word that describes the way the caterpillars move, alternating between thoracic legs and prolegs. That is definitely how this one walked.

In any case, I'm rearing it now, so we'll be able to tell what it is when the moth emerges.

 
We're not sure what jross is suggesting,
but these are definitely all Plusiinae. One of the problems may lie in the use of English names, since the name Looper can refer to dozens of very different caterpillars.

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