Ctenucha virginica – Virginia Ctenucha Moth

Hodges # 8262

Caterpillar food:  monocots – grasses, sedges, iris  (Bugguide)

I usually see this species flying during the day, but they also come to my lights at night.

6/8/2014

ctenucha-virginica-6-8-14-2

 

6/10/2016

ctenucha-virginica-6-10-16-1

 

6/13/2005  During the day

ctenucha-virginica-6-13-05-5

 

6/12/2009

 

The caterpillars come in two color variations: black and yellow, or yellow and white.

10/29/2016  We see the caterpillars wandering on the road in the winter, anytime the temperature gets above about 20F.  These winter wandering caterpillars are always black and yellow.

ctenucha-virginica-10-29-16-1

 

2/26/2016

ctenucha-caterpillar-2-26-16

 

3/15/2014

ctenucha-virginica-3-15-14-2

 

This caterpillar was collected in the grass of a mowed path on our farm on 5/18/2009.

Ctenucha virginica caterpillar

 

I fed it on grass, and pupated on 5/25/2009.  Hairs from the body of the caterpillar were used for the outside of the cocoon.

Ctenucha virginica

 

On 6/2/09 the pupa inside became visible.

Ctenucha virginica

 

The adult emerged on 6/16/09.

Ctenucha virginica adult

 

One spring  I was cutting some Honeysuckle bushes on an abandoned field, and found several caterpillars hidden in the dry grass at the base of each bush.

4/30/2010

 

And I found some more crawling on the road.

 

I put the black ones in one jar, and the yellow ones in another.  They ate grass for about a month.

4/30/2010  This is a yellow caterpillar.  Both the yellow and the black ones have red feet.

 

4/30/2010  Their heads are red and black

 

4/30/2010

 

4/30/2010

 

5/19/2010   The yellow caterpillars stayed yellow, but at the last instar, all the black caterpillars shed their black skin, and turned yellow.

 

5/19/2010

 

5/19/2010   They made cocoons

 

6/3/2010   And hatched