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Unidentified Caterpillar

Unidentified Caterpillar
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-14
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2014-03-22 6:56
Viewed: 3360
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Unidentified Caterpillar / Order Lepidoptera

Today's image I wanted to share many moons ago, but let it pass "maybe next time" each time I looked at it in my photos archive. The reason being, I could not identify it. I thought insects were difficult to identify, but boy oh boy, caterpillars are worse. In my opinion worms or caterpillars are an awful nightmare! With about 180 000 different species or types of caterpillars in the world it is expected that trying to identify it will give you a headache.

I was so excited when I first saw the outcome of this image, and I keenly worked through the books we have on insects, butterflies, moths and all others I thought I might be able to help with identification, but no luck. I searched the Internet for months on end, forgot about the image for weeks and then started my search afresh.

I joined a group that name themselves "The Caterpillar Rearing Group" (CRG) on Facebook, hoping they could help with the identification, but up to now I am still at square one, as the only feedback I received so far was that it could possibly be in the Family Lasiocampidae. I am not going to search further for this fellow's name or anything else about it. If I manage to find its name in time to come, I will alter my notes in this regard.

The group was very impressed with my photo and asked my permission to use it as the group's cover photo. This image was taken during our 2011 Cape Province holiday on the day we visited the West Coast National Park.

For interest I share the following about "The Caterpillar Rearing Group"
CRG is a project of the Lepidopterists Society of Africa (LepSoc). It combines the efforts of both expert lepidopterists and citizen scientists to discover the life histories of all Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) occurring in Africa.

The world of Lepidoptera does not only consist of the flying adult moths and butterflies that we see on a daily basis. These flying wonders have gone through the magical process of metamorphosis, having transformed from crawling, and hungry caterpillars to the flying adult moths or butterflies we know so well. The secret lives of caterpillars may well be more fascinating than the adults they transform into. Our current knowledge has yet to scrape the surface of this world, but the small glimpses we have seen have sparked the interest of lepidopterists far and wide.

Tens of thousands of moth species and about 4 000 butterfly species occur in Africa. No one person could ever determine the caterpillar – adult – host-plant associations for all these species. A few of these associations have been uncovered but the amount still to be discovered is staggering. This is what inspired LepSoc to create the CRG.

The CRG’s main purpose is to increase knowledge on the life histories of all Lepidoptera in Africa, especially those for which nothing is known about their life histories. Caterpillars of both moths and butterflies (lepis) will be reared through to adulthood, taking notes and photographs of the various life-stages, host-plants and other interesting behavioural phenomena. This knowledge will contribute significantly to the conservation of this group of insects on the African continent. The project combines the efforts of both expert lepidopterists and citizen scientists.

Anyone who is willing to look after a caterpillar and rear it through to adulthood is welcome to join and help discover the life histories of more species. Together we can solve the many unknowns in the life histories of these fascinating creatures. Source

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

ramthakur, Hotelcalifornia, lazyman, CeltickRanger, Hussain58, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hallo Anna
very nice composition with good details
the colours are beautiful to
thanks greeting lou

Hello Anna,
Cette chenille est étonnante. Je ne peux pas l'identifier mais l'image me plait beaucoup.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2014-03-22 7:38]

Hello Anna,
Sorry, can't help you with the ID. Fantastic sharp detailed caterpillar in beautiful bright colours. Great POV and composition. The water drops are a big bonus.

Quite an unusual posting from you, Anna.
Nevertheless, it is a fine macro of a very hairy and colourful Caterpillar.
I like the diagonal positioning of the subject.
Thanks and regards.

Hi Anna, Great sharpness with perfect focus of this caterpillar. Its patterns and its hair are showing their best details under well managed light. Fantastic natural colours and tones. Best regards

Hello Anna,
Beautiful Caterpillar,although can't help you about ID.Dangerous species looks like.Very good details and colour.Like water droplets...
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice time,

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2014-03-22 10:16]

Hello Anna,
I fully understand your reason for not posting this image until now. I too try not to post if I don't know the correct identity of the subject. I purchased a very large book on North American caterpillars a few years ago, and it is still quite hard to positively identify every one that I see out in the fields.
That said, I would just like to say how beautiful this particular caterpillar is and how well you have photographed it. I love it long silky hairs and the orange color of it's body underneath. It also has an attractively marked face, while the water droplets trapped in it's hairs are an added bonus. If I get the time I will also search the internet to see if I can come up with an ID for you.
I learned the hard way to never touch caterpillars from other countries if you don't know their identity. I lightly touched a beautiful lime green caterpillar from Brazil once and my thumb burned for about two hours.
God Bless,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2014-03-22 12:39]

Hi Anna,i search a lot but no result about its name,i'm sorry.A beautiful caterpillar that,obvously,i never seen before,the pic is well exposed but a bit oversharpened,but i like this effect...eheeeh....have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hello Anna,

You're capturing well this species of caterpillar by a good composition, a good focus and very excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the long caterpillar which is stopping on the green stalk. It's also impressive in mustache and the long body with the golden striped pattern.

KInd regards,

Hello Anna

Great macro of this insect, fine POV and being framed diagonally in the image
it brings dynamism to the photo, great focus, sharpness, details, and contrast, TFS


Hello Anna
Beautiful photo with wonderful colours and very good sharpness!

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2014-03-23 10:45]

Hi Anna,
Excellent macro shot of this beautiful caterpillar.
Very good details and focus with amazing colors.
Regards Jiri.

  • Great 
  • dip (59)
  • [2014-03-27 14:48]

Hello Anna,
wonderful close up with excellent sharpness!

Hello Anna,

Hope you are well. I missed this photo of yours days back, did not mean to but you know....so my apologies. I am grateful for your comments and support, this will stay with me forever.
Love this lovely caterpillar so covered with dew drops which are glistening on its body and this hairy thing is colourful as well....amazing!
Thanks a lot for sharing your photo and the wonderful wonderful note...TFS,take care,

warm regards/Abid

Hello Anna,
Nice macro in fine details and lovely natural colours.

  • Great 
  • senn Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 2 N: 155] (1384)
  • [2014-06-01 2:53]

curious species with stunning colours and detail, .. effectively exposed and taken; .. great macro photography here Anna


nuri :)

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2014-07-03 20:36]

Hi Anna.
You have pictured a wonderful specimen of the specie. Caterpillar is simply splendid as well as diagonal composition of the image, fantastic details of the insect and surroundings and fine vivid colours. TFS and best regards.

Great close up here MF Anna! Brilliant colours excellent details and management of light.


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