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Pond Apple Caterpillar (Smaller) - Gonodonta nutrix

Pond Apple Caterpillar (Smaller) - Gonodonta nutrix
Sebastian, Indian River County, Florida, USA
August 8, 2006
Size: 7 to 8mm
Smaller caterpillar found on same Pond Apple tree as this one.

Moved from Gonodonta.

Looks Very Close to....
Citrus Fruit-piercer, Gonodonta nutrix. Wagner Field Guide p.371. Breeding year-round in southern Florida, Custard Apple (Annona) is a larval food plant.

Thank you very much! The ID was not crucial. It's just interesting to know what is going to emerge. Would you mind sharing some info on pupation? I can't find anything about it on the internet.

Using The Search Window On This Website....
...reveals the interesting fact that I photographed the adult moth in June while spending a few days at Homestead-Florida City. I'd forgotten about it. Here is what it looks like:

Very interesting
I just read that post and was intrigued by your story. Is it safe to assume that the larger caterpillar is an older version of the same? And if so, what can I expect? It just covered itself in leaf bits.

Thanks again for the quick reply!

I Know Nothing About Larval Stages and Pupation
....take photos of all developments and post them here. It may tie some leaf litter with silk to make a pupation chamber. In southern Florida it might have a number of generations in a year without pause for winter diapause. So you might see an adult emerge within a few weeks.

Thanks for your identification. The large caterpillar formed a pupal chamber the day of my original posting and emerged today. The smaller ones went through a few instars but never got as large as the first, nor did they change from the darker coloring. One formed a pupal chamber and the other completely disappeared. I suspect that it, somehow, escaped it's confinement.

As per Bob Patterson's suggestion, I am posting the results here.

Empty Pupal Chamber

Adult Still

Adult Moving

Occupied Pupal Chamber

Thanks to everyone for your help!


8540 -- Citrus Fruit-piercer Moth -- Gonodonta nutrix
... nice series of photos, absolutely confirming the ID of the caterpillars. At the time I photographed the adult I had no idea it had colorful hindwings. My photo lab at the time was on a marble countertop beside the sink in a room at the Days Inn. I should have goosed the moth to try to get it to land on the mirror and expose its undersides.

They certainly do have colorful hindwings. I chilled this one to get the photogpraphs. When it first came out, it was motionless, and I got a shot of the underside. Beautiful moths.

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