Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: What kind of caterpillar is this?

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Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Joebass
Jul 16, 2014 7:31 PM CST
Saw a lot of these this year.


Thumb of 2014-07-17/Joebass/12f59e

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 19, 2014 3:01 PM CST
My guess would be salt marsh caterpillar.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 20, 2014 8:54 AM CST
What plant are they on?
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Joebass
Jul 20, 2014 10:42 AM CST
That's an iris but I saw a bunch in my garden this year. Didn't look like they were doing too much damage so I just let them be. I was just curious what they turn into as well.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Catmint20906
Jul 20, 2014 5:46 PM CST
Could also be a Yellow Woolly Bear.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spilosoma_virginica
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yardsโ€
โ€• Thalassa Cruso
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Jul 21, 2014 5:57 AM CST
Sorry to just barge in. I guess I should introduce myself. I'm Catmint. I live in Maryland in the DC area. I've been gardening for the pollinators for about a year now. I've been active in another gardening forum but am new to ATP.

I think whether it's a salt marsh or a yellow woolly cat depends on how furry and big it is. The yellow woolly cat is one of the Tiger Moth species, and it grows into the Virginian Tiger Moth. It tends to be on the larger, furrier size. The salt marsh cat tends to be smaller and less uniformly furry looking--you can see the individual setae sticking out.

"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yardsโ€
โ€• Thalassa Cruso
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jul 21, 2014 8:03 AM CST
Sounds like this one's been recognized, cool.

For future reference, knowing what a caterpillar is eating can narrow the possibilities greatly. There are indiscriminate munchers, like army worms (which look nothing like the cat in question,) but most can only eat a few different plants. Monarch caterpillars can only eat Asclepias plants. I never bother unknown cats either unless they are on a very small plant I'm unwilling to sacrifice to munching, or if I'm able to determine that they are going to be a ubiquitous pest moth, (like army worm or cabbage white,) not a butterfly.

Looking at the list of caterpillars known to munch on a particular plant usually makes the cat pretty easy to ID (or at least rule-out any possible butterflies.)

Hi Catmint, welcome to ATP!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Jul 21, 2014 2:17 PM CST
Thanks, Purpleinopp! That's a good idea to look at the host first and then drill down from there.

Here's one possible match for a caterpillar that hosts on iris:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ctenucha_virginica
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yardsโ€
โ€• Thalassa Cruso
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Jul 21, 2014 4:05 PM CST
Excellent!

Searching by host plant is the only way I've ever been able to ID caterpillars, though probably not a scientific method. Others might have an easier time with another way. A pleasant number of them end up being butterflies though, so fun to do!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
Image
Catmint20906
Jul 21, 2014 4:47 PM CST
It makes a lot of sense! Smiling
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yardsโ€
โ€• Thalassa Cruso
Name: Joe
Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Lilies Region: New York Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Joebass
Jul 21, 2014 5:20 PM CST
Well I will say it's probably closest to the yellow wooly but this wasn't just on irises it was on lilies, fencing, and other plants too. Didn't seem to be doing too much damage as I think the Japanese beetles were the main culprits. Thanks for all the help.

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