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Caterpillars of Eastern Forests

Cutworms or Owlet Moths (Family Noctuidae)


Noctuids are the largest family of Lepidoptera, accounting for more than one-quarter of all described species of butterflies and moths. Owlet moth caterpillars are diverse in both habit and form, and no single character can be used to diagnose the family. Most are rather stout, nearly smooth with inconspicuous setae, rendered in cryptic shades brown and green. Others bear abundant secondary (unbarbed) setae and resemble tiger moth caterpillars. Their crochets are usually of a single length, arranged in a linear series (figure 3). In arctiids the outermost crochets are reduced in size (figure 4), and the hairs are commonly barbed. Species described in this guide include foliage, flower, lichen, and litter feeders, as well as a handful that attack and consume other caterpillars.


Caterpillar Thumbnail
Cherry Dagger Moth
(Acronicta hasta)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Ochre Dagger Moth
(Acronicta morula)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Lobelia Dagger Moth
(Acronicta lobeliae)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Splendid Dagger Moth
(Acronicta superans)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Smartweed Caterpillar
(Acronicta oblinita)
[Smeared Dagger Moth]
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Afflicted Dagger Moth
(Acronicta afflicta)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Hesitant Dagger Moth Complex
(Acronicta haesitata complex)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Frosted Dagger Caterpillar
(Acronicta hastulifera)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Long-winged Dagger Moth
(Acronicta longa)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Impressed Dagger Moth
(Acronicta impressa)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
American Dagger Moth
(Acronicta americana)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Yellow-haired Dagger Moth
(Acronicta impleta)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Harris's Three-spot
(Harrisimemna trisignata)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Tufted White Pine Caterpillar
(Panthea pallescens = P. furcilla)
[Eastern Panthea]
Caterpillar Thumbnail
The Laugher
(Charadra deridens)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Yellow-marked Caterpillar
(Raphia frater)
[The Brother]
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Grapevine Epimenis
(Psychomorpha epimenis)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Eight-spotted Forester
(Alypia octomaculata)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Pearly Wood-nymph
(Eudryas unio)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Confused Meganola
(Meganola minuscula)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Variegated Midge
(Elaphria versicolor)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Copper Underwing
(Amphipyra pyramidoides)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Olive Angle Shades
(Phlogophora iris)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Sloping Sallow
(Epiglaea decliva)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Silky Sallow
(Chaetoglaea sericea)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Red-winged Sallow
(Xystopeplus rufago)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Fawn Sallow
(Copipanolis styracis)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Fringe-tree Sallow
(Adita chionanthi)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Green Fruitworm
(Lithophane antennata)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Nameless Pinion
(Lithophane innominata)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Shivering Pinion
(Lithophane querquera)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Mustard Sallow
(Pyreferra ?hesperidago)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Jocose Sallow
(Feralia jocosa)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Mottled Gray Cutworm
(Abagrotis alternata)
[Greater Red Dart]
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Speckled Green Fruitworm
(Orthosia hibisci)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Subdued Quaker
(Orthosia revicta)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Ruby Quaker
(Orthosia rubescens)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Intractable Quaker
(Himella intractata)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Distinct Quaker
(Achatia distincta)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Confused Woodgrain
(Morrisonia confusa)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Girlfriend Underwing
(Catocala amica)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Connubial Underwing
(Catocala connubialis)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Little Nymph
(Catocala micronympha)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Andromeda Underwing
(Catocala andromedae)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Sweetheart Underwing
(Catocala ultronia)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Ilia Underwing
(Catocala ilia)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Lunate Zale
(Zale lunata)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Colorful Zale
(Zale minerea)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Oblique Zale
(Zale obliqua)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Maple Looper Moth
(Parallelia bistriaris)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Common Oak Moth
(Phoberia atomaris)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Red-lined Panopoda
(Panopoda rufimargo)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Baltimore Bomolocha
(Bomolocha baltimoralis)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Red-footed Bomolocha
(Lomanaltes eductalis)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Pale Baileya
(Baileya dormitans)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Glossy Black Idia
(Idia lubricalis)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Early Zanclognatha
(Polypogon cruralis)
Caterpillar Thumbnail
Spruce Harlequin
(Palthis angulalis)

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