SOME CATERPILLARS OF
ONTARIO, CANADA

photos taken by Bea Laporte and identified mostly by Butterflies and Moths of North America's website at BAMONA or with help from Peterson's Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America

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A caterpillar (or larva) is the stage between the egg and the adult during the life cycle of a butterfly or moth (from the insect family: Lepidoptera). Every caterpillar species have specific plants they like to feed on called the "host plant", so knowing the name of the host plant that the caterpillar is on can often help with identifying the critter. Also, caterpillars have many stages called instars and can look very different from when they hatch until when they go into a pupa.

Smooth Caterpillars:
Spodoptera ornithogalli
Yellow-striped Armyworm MOTH
Spodoptera ornithogalli
Spodoptera ornithogalli
Yellow-striped Armyworm MOTH
Spodoptera ornithogalli
Mythimna unipuncta
Armyworm MOTH
Mythimna unipuncta
Noctua pronuba
European Yellow Underwing MOTH
Noctua pronuba
Symmerista leucitys
Orange-humped Mapleworm MOTH
Symmerista leucitys
Symmerista canicosta
Red-humped Oakworm MOTH
Symmerista canicosta
Melanchra picta
Zebra Caterpillar
MOTH
Melanchra picta
Cucullia intermedia
Dusky Hooded Owlet MOTH
Cucullia intermedia
Eupithecia miserulata
Common Eupithecia MOTH
Eupithecia miserulata
Cucullia asteroides
Goldenrod Hooded Owlet MOTH
Cucullia asteroides
Heterocampa guttivitta
Maple Prominent
MOTH
Heterocampa guttivitta
Panopoda rufimargo
Red-lined Panopoda MOTH
Panopoda rufimargo
Autographa precationis
Common Looper
MOTH

Autographa precationis
Melanchra adjuncta
Hitched Arches
MOTH

Melanchra adjuncta
Papilio polyxenes
Black Swallowtail
BUTTERFLY

Papilio polyxenes
Smooth Caterpillars with Bumps, Knobs or Fleshy Filaments:
Limenitis archippus
Viceroy
BUTTERFLY
Limenitis archippus
Lochmaeus manteo
Variable Oakleaf Caterpillar
MOTH
Lochmaeus manteo
Macrurocampa marthesia
Mottled Prominent
MOTH

Macrurocampa marthesia
Antheraea polyphemus
Polyphemus
MOTH

Antheraea polyphemus
Hypoprepia fucosa
Painted Lichen
MOTH

Hypoprepia fucosa
Haploa lecontei
Leconte's Haploa
MOTH

Haploa lecontei
Evergestis pallidata
Purple-backed Cabbageworm
MOTH

Evergestis pallidata
Perithemis tenera
Monarch
BUTTERFLY
Danaus plexippus
Smooth Caterpillars with a Rear Horn or Tail:
Hemaris thysbe
Hummingbird Clearwing MOTH
Hemaris thysbe
Darapsa myron
Virginia Creeper Sphinx MOTH
Darapsa myron
Sphinx kalmiae
Laurel Sphinx MOTH
Sphinx kalmiae
Pheosia rimosa
Black-rimmed Prominent MOTH
Pheosia rimosa
Sluglike Caterpillars:
Satyrium calanus
Banded Hairstreak BUTTERFLY
Satyrium calanus
Satyrium liparops
Striped Hairstreak BUTTERFLY
Satyrium liparops
Isa textula
Crowned Slug
MOTH
Isa textula
Euclea delphinii
Spiny Oak-slug
MOTH
Euclea delphinii
Hairy and Slightly Hairy Caterpillars:
Malacosoma americanum
Eastern Tent Caterpiller MOTH
Malacosoma americanum
Malacosoma disstria
Forest Tent Caterpiller MOTH
Malacosoma
disstria
Spilosoma virginica
Virginian Tiger
MOTH

Spilosoma virginica
Spilosoma virginica
Yellow Bear or Virginian Tiger
MOTH

Spilosoma virginica
Cycnia tenera
Delicate Cycnia or Dogbane Tiger
MOTH
Cycnia tenera
Hyphantria cunea
Fall Webworm
MOTH

Hyphantria cunea
Alypia octomaculata
Eight-spotted Forester MOTH
Alypia octomaculata
Datana ministra
Yellow-necked Caterpillar MOTH
Datana ministra
Pyrrhia exprimens
Purple-lined Sallow MOTH
Pyrrhia exprimens
Pyrrhia exprimens
Purple-lined Sallow MOTH
Pyrrhia exprimens
Later Instar
Hairy Caterpillars with Tufts or Pencils:
Halysidota tessellaris
Banded Tussock or Pale Tiger MOTH
Halysidota tessellaris
Lophocampa maculata
Spotted Tussock
MOTH
Lophocampa maculata
Lophocampa caryae
Hickory Tussock
MOTH
Lophocampa caryae
Euchaetes egle
Milkweed Tussock
MOTH
Euchaetes egle
Orgyia definita
Definite-marked Tussock MOTH
Orgyia definita
Orgyia leucostigma
White-marked Tussock
MOTH
Orgyia leucostigma
Acronicta lepusculina
Cottonwood Dagger
MOTH
Acronicta lepusculina
Caterpillars with Bristles:
Simyra insularis
Henry's Marsh
MOTH
Simyra insularis
Estigmene acrea
Salt Marsh
MOTH
Estigmene acrea
Acronicta impressa
Impressed Dagger
MOTH
Acronicta impressa
Lymantria dispar
Gypsy MOTH
Lymantria dispar
Pyrrharctia isabella
Banded Woolybear or Isabella Tiger MOTH
Pyrrharctia isabella
Hypercompe scribonia
Giant Leopard
MOTH
Hypercompe scribonia
Ctenucha virginica
Virginia Ctenucha
MOTH
Ctenucha virginica
Caterpillars with Branched Spines:
Polygonia interrogationis
Question Mark
BUTTERFLY

Polygonia interrogationis
Speyeria cybele
Great Spangled Fritillary BUTTERFLY
Speyeria cybele
Nymphalis antiopa
Mourning Cloak
BUTTERFLY
Nymphalis antiopa
Vanessa atalanta
Red Admiral
BUTTERFLY
Vanessa atalanta
Automeris io
IO MOTH
Automeris io

Below are some larvae that look like caterpillars but do not turn into moths or butterflies. So, how can you tell them apart? Caterpillars may have up to five pairs of abdominal prolegs and never more but Sawfly larvae always have six or more pairs. Prolegs are those stubby and fleshy, unsegmented legs, found in pairs on the underneath side of the larva. Beetle larva only have three true legs and no prolegs.

Periclista lineolata
Oak SAWFLY
Periclista lineolata
Cimbex americana
Elm SAWFLY
Cimbex americana

ALSO CHECK OUT THESE:

Caterpillars Page

Caterpillar Instars

How to Make a Caterpillar Rearing Container

Moths of Ontario

Butterflies of Ontario