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Mystery caterpillar - Lapara coniferarum

Mystery caterpillar - Lapara coniferarum
Henrico County, Virginia, USA
August 5, 2006
Size: ~ 1.5 inch

Images of this individual: tag all
Mystery caterpillar - Lapara coniferarum Mystery caterpillar - Lapara coniferarum

Moved to guide, and next time remember to check immature, otherwise it doesn't show up when you are searching for caterpillarsonly.

Looks like Lapara coniferarum, the Pine Sphinx. Wagner's caterpillar book says this species is "Perhaps indistinguishable as a caterpillar from Northern Pine Sphinx (Lapara bombycoides)." But judging by range, in eastern Virginia you should find P. coniferarum rather than P. bombycoides.

Thank you
Stephen, thanks very much for the I.D. I spent most of yesterday trying to I.D. this little fellow but finally gave up. I never know, after a positive identification, if I should edit the title of my original post - in this case change it from "Mystery caterpillar" to "Pine Sphinx caterpillar, Lapara coniferarum. What is the protocol for that?

Thanks again,

Either way
It's fine to leave Mystery Caterpillar up, or you can change the title to the common name. It is kind of nice to leave some indication, in title or message, that it was on ID request, or else someone might wonder "Why is Cresswell chiming in with an ID when she already knew the ID."

The title is not as important as where it gets filed. Either you or an editor will move the image from ID Request to the Pine Sphinx page, and this conversation will go with it. I don't know if you've moved images before, but if not here is a discussion that includes how to move images:

By the way, if you do change the title, don't include the Latin name. The BugGuide software will add that automatically once the image has been moved to the right spot. If you were to add it yourself it would appear twice and would look silly.

Re: either way
Stephen, thank you for your response and the helpful information. Carol

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