Whether you’re planning to spend time in New Mexico or already living there, you’ve probably noticed that the caterpillar population appears pretty healthy.
In fact, you may have even seen some of the giant silkworm caterpillars that can reach lengths of up to 6 inches!
While most people will tell you not to pick up these giant caterpillars, as they might bite you or give you an allergic reaction, we recommend checking out some of the following amazing caterpillar species and letting them do their thing in peace! Here are some amazing types of caterpillars in New Mexico!
While most New Mexico caterpillars are harmless to humans, some of them can cause skin irritation or worse if you pick them up or touch their fine hairs.
Knowing the types of caterpillars in New Mexico will help you avoid the ones that may hurt you.
Not only that, but it also enables you to enjoy the beauty of New Mexico’s many butterfly species throughout the state!
Here are different types of caterpillars in New Mexico that can be found throughout the state.
1. Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth Caterpillar
Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth Caterpillar is one of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico. It has a yellow body and brown or black stripes. Its head has red and black markings, making it quite distinctive.
The caterpillar feeds on various types of plants, including trees, shrubs, and herbs.
This caterpillar is commonly seen in the early summer months when it can be found resting among the foliage of its host plant.
When disturbed, the caterpillar will curl up into a tight ball to protect itself from predators. The caterpillar is also known to drop down on a strand of silk when alarmed.
When mature, the Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth Caterpillar transforms into a silvery-white moth with thin brown bands.
The wingspan of the adult moth can reach up to one inch. The moth has an orange head with two brown stripes extending down its back.
The Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth Caterpillar is just one type of caterpillar you can find in New Mexico. There are other types of caterpillars in the state, including the Spanish Moth, Tiger Moth, and Army Worm.
Each species is unique and adds a colorful touch to the region’s diverse ecosystem.
2. Rustic Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
The Rustic Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is one of the most commonly seen types of caterpillars in New Mexico. This type of caterpillar is easily recognizable by its distinctive orange and black stripes, which run along its body.
The head of this caterpillar is mostly black and has a small tuft of white hair. It also has a pair of long horns protruding from the front.
The Rustic Sphinx Moth Caterpillar feeds on various plants, including tomato, pepper, cotton, potato, and other vegetables.
While feeding, this caterpillar may cause damage to the leaves or stems of these plants. Despite this, it’s an important pollinator and helps produce many vegetables.
When the Rustic Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is fully grown, it forms a cocoon that will pupate and later emerge as an adult moth.
This species of moth has a wingspan of about three inches and can be seen in the evenings or at night. They are usually attracted to light sources like street lights or house lights.
Overall, the Rustic Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is an important species in New Mexico, not just for the pollination it provides but also for its beauty and aesthetic value.
If you’re looking for something interesting to observe in nature, this type of caterpillar is definitely worth keeping an eye out for!
3. Silver-Spotted Skipper Caterpillar
The Silver-spotted Skipper Caterpillar (Epargyreus clarus) is third on this list of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico.
These little guys are black and yellow with a bright orange stripe running down the middle of their back. They have small white spots that line their sides and look like silver coins.
The Silver-spotted Skipper Caterpillar is most often seen in the late summer months in the Southwest. They feed on various plants, including wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs.
When they are ready to pupate, they spin a cocoon and hang it from branches or other vegetation.
To sum up, these caterpillars can be seen in many areas of New Mexico, from the plains to the mountains. If you’re lucky enough to spot one, be sure to take a few pictures so you can remember the encounter!
4. Variegated Fritillary Butterfly Caterpillar
The Variegated Fritillary Butterfly is not left out of this list of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico. Caterpillar is a species of butterfly found throughout New Mexico and much of the western United States.
It is easily recognized by its yellow and black stripes and its black spines that are arranged in pairs down the length of its body.
Also, the caterpillars are well known for their habit of eating many different types of plants. These colorful caterpillars feed on various types of grass and wildflowers, including common garden favorites such as verbena, cosmos, yarrow, and sunflowers.
They are particularly fond of violets, eating them in large quantities as they search for new food sources.
When disturbed or threatened, the caterpillars will often curl up into a tight ball, protecting themselves from predators.
The Variegated Fritillary Butterfly Caterpillar is an important part of the food chain in New Mexico, providing sustenance to birds, lizards, and even larger mammals.
The adult butterflies of this species also play an important role in pollination. As they flutter around searching for nectar, they help to spread pollen from one flower to another, ensuring the successful reproduction of many plants.
5. Two-Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar
The two-tailed swallowtail caterpillar is an exciting species of caterpillar found in New Mexico. With its vibrant colors and distinct features, this species is one of the most interesting insects to be found in the state.
These caterpillars come in shades of bright yellow, black, and white. When disturbed, they will extend a pair of horns from their heads that look like two tails.
This is how they get their name. They also have four segments with yellow spots and white patches on each.
These caterpillars feed mainly on the leaves of plants in the carrot family, such as dill and fennel. Once they reach maturity, they turn into a beautiful two-tailed swallowtail butterflies.
If you’re looking to spot this amazing species of caterpillars, you can find them in the desert or mountain regions of New Mexico.
They are active during the warmer months, so be sure to keep an eye out if you’re visiting the state during these months.
Of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico, this caterpillar species is an exciting insect to observe. If you’re lucky enough to find one, be sure to take the time to appreciate its vibrant colors and distinct features.
6. Silvery Checkerspot Caterpillar
The Silvery Checkerspot caterpillar is an interesting type of caterpillar that can be found in the state of New Mexico.
These caterpillars are typically around one and a half inches long and are black with silvery spots and white stripes along their body.
They feed on a variety of plants, including various species of thistles, sunflowers, and daisies.
Silvery Checkerspot caterpillars can be found in many areas throughout New Mexico during the summer months, usually from June through August.
The caterpillars are an excellent food source for various birds, including finches and mockingbirds, who will often feed on them.
These particular types of caterpillars in New Mexico tend to go through four stages of development before they turn into moths.
During their final stage, they form a chrysalis, which will eventually become the adult moth. The chrysalis typically has a cream-colored body and greenish-black markings.
The Silvery Checkerspot caterpillar is just one of the many types of caterpillars in New Mexico. Their unique markings and beautiful chrysalis make them an interesting addition to any backyard or garden!
7. Slug Caterpillar
When it comes to the types of caterpillars in New Mexico, the Slug Caterpillar is one of the most common species you’ll find.
These caterpillars have a unique look and are often mistaken for slugs due to their slimy appearance. Slug caterpillars can be identified by their reddish-brown head, which is followed by an orange band and then yellow and green stripes.
They also have short, smooth hairs that stick out from their body. These caterpillars are usually around an inch long when fully grown.
These caterpillars can be found in forests, meadows, gardens, and other places with plenty of vegetation.
Moreover, they feed on the leaves and flowers of various plants, such as roses, peonies, and ferns. Although they can benefit some plants, they can also significantly damage crops and garden plants.
The Slug Caterpillar is also known to spread disease through its feces, so it’s important to take measures to prevent infestations.
This can include removing debris or trimming grasses to reduce the caterpillar’s food sources. It’s also important to use insecticides or other pest control measures if an infestation has already occurred.
The Slug Caterpillar is also one of the many types of caterpillars in New Mexico. With some knowledge and preparation, you can protect your plants and garden from these pests.
8. Southwestern Corn Borer Moth Caterpillar
If you’re looking to find different types of caterpillars in New Mexico, you’re in luck! A wide variety of species can be found throughout the area, and one of the most common types is the Southwestern Corn Borer Moth Caterpillar. This caterpillar has a grayish-brown color and is covered with long white hair.
The Southwestern Corn Borer Moth Caterpillar is found primarily on corn and other plants, including sorghum, wheat, sugarcane, and cotton.
It feeds mainly on the stems and leaves of these plants, and when it is disturbed, it will curl up in a tight ball.
This caterpillar is considered an agricultural pest and can cause extensive damage to crops.
If you notice this type of caterpillar in your garden or on your crops, it is best to contact a local pest control company for advice and assistance in removing them.
The Southwestern Corn Borer Moth Caterpillar can be identified by its color, size, and unique bristly hair. When fully grown, the caterpillar is approximately two inches long and has a white stripe running along the length of its body.
Meanwhile, its head is covered in black hair and has two yellow stripes across the thorax. If you live in New Mexico and have noticed any of these caterpillars in your garden or around your crops, make sure to take appropriate steps to remove them as soon as possible.
Taking proper precautions and removing these pests can help protect your plants from damage.
9. Spiny Elm Caterpillar
Types of caterpillars in New Mexico? The Spiny Elm Caterpillar is one. These caterpillars are the larvae of the Spiny Elm Sawfly, and they feed on elm trees.
The caterpillars can be identified by their black and yellow stripes and the long spines that cover their bodies.
The Spiny Elm Caterpillar is considered a nuisance pest because it can cause considerable damage to elm trees when they feed on the leaves.
They are usually found in large groups and can defoliate an entire tree if left unchecked. They also emit a strong odor when disturbed.
In order to prevent an infestation of Spiny Elm Caterpillars, homeowners can monitor their elm trees for signs of infestation and use insecticides or other controls to manage them.
Pruning infested branches can also help reduce damage and spread of the caterpillars. If you have elm trees in your yard, monitoring them closely for signs of an infestation is important.
10. Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar
The Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar (Lophocampa maculata) is one of the many types of caterpillars in New Mexico that you can find throughout the area.
These fascinating caterpillars have unique black, white and orange markings, which give them their name. The mature caterpillar can reach a length of about 2 inches.
The Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar is found in various habitats across New Mexico, including deserts, woodlands, grasslands, and urban areas.
This species feeds on many plants, including shrubs and trees. They are most commonly found in late spring and early summer.
Additionally, when the caterpillar is ready to pupate, it will create a cocoon-like structure using its own silk. This cocoon is attached to a branch or other structure, and the caterpillar will remain inside for two to three weeks while it metamorphoses into an adult moth.
After this period, the adult moth will emerge and fly off to mate and lay eggs.
If you’re looking for the Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar in New Mexico, you can find them by searching for the food plants they feed on.
They’re active during the day and tend to be more abundant near areas with large stands of shrubs or trees. So if you’re out exploring in New Mexico, keep an eye out for these beautiful creatures!
11. Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
The Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is a type of caterpillar that can be found in New Mexico. This caterpillar is brown in color, with white and yellow stripes running along its back.
Its head is also a darker brown than the rest of its body. The body is covered in small bristles, giving it an overall fuzzy texture.
This caterpillar species is an important pollinator for many plants and flowers, as it helps spread pollen from one flower to another.
It feeds on various types of plants, including wildflowers, fruits, vegetables, and shrubs. When mature, this caterpillar will turn into an adult moth with a wingspan of about two inches.
The Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is an important part of the New Mexican ecosystem and provides an important service to local plant life.
If you’re looking for these fuzzy creatures of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico, keep your eyes peeled while out exploring the New Mexican wilderness!
12. Red-Spotted Purple Admiral Caterpillar
New Mexico is home to a wide variety of interesting creatures, including some very special caterpillars. One of the most striking species of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico is the Red-spotted Purple Admiral Caterpillar (Vanessa atalanta).
It is a large, brightly colored caterpillar that can be found in various parts of the state.
Furthermore, this species of caterpillar has an interesting life cycle. The larva or caterpillar phase occurs during the late summer and fall months.
During this time, they feed on various host plants such as willow, poplar, and birch trees. The bright red spots along their backs help to make them stand out and act as a warning to predators.
Once the Red-spotted Purple Admiral Caterpillar is fully grown, it forms a chrysalis that attaches to a tree or shrub. After several weeks, the adult butterfly emerges and is ready to start the cycle again.
The Red-spotted Purple Admiral Caterpillar is an amazing caterpillar species in New Mexico. Not only is it beautiful and distinctive, but it also has an interesting life cycle.
If you’re lucky enough to spot one in its natural habitat, be sure to take a moment to appreciate its beauty.
13. Red-Humped Caterpillar
The red-humped caterpillar is one of the different types of caterpillars in New Mexico. It has a bright orange and black striped body with a distinctive hump on its back.
The caterpillar is considered an agricultural pest in the region, as it feeds on crops such as alfalfa, clover, and soybeans.
The red-humped caterpillar grows to about 2 centimeters in length and has up to five larval stages. In the first stage, the caterpillar is black and orange with white stripes and a distinctive red hump on its back.
As it progresses through each of the four additional stages, its color changes from yellowish green to black.
Besides, the red-humped caterpillar can be found in fields and along roadsides throughout New Mexico. They are active from late spring to early fall and can cause considerable damage to crops in the area. Farmers must use special pesticides to protect their crops from these destructive pests.
Fortunately, there are other natural ways to control the red-humped caterpillar population. Introducing predators such as birds, lizards, and frogs into the area can help keep the caterpillar numbers in check.
Planting native flowers in your garden can also attract beneficial insects that feed on caterpillars, helping to control the population.
14. Red Admiral Butterfly Caterpillar
The Red Admiral Butterfly Caterpillar is a type of caterpillar you can find in New Mexico. It is a vibrant, colorful species that can be found in almost any habitat in the state.
This species is a voracious eater and will munch on various plants, including nettles, hollyhocks, and petunias.
The Red Admiral Butterfly Caterpillar has bright red, yellow, and black stripes running along its body. The larvae are typically 2-3 cm long and feature two long black spines on the back end.
When disturbed, this caterpillar will raise up its two spines and hiss in an effort to protect itself.
This species will eventually metamorphose into a Red Admiral butterfly with a wingspan of up to 7 cm. This butterfly is known for its striking black and orange pattern, which serves as a warning to potential predators that the butterfly may be distasteful.
Not to forget, it is likewise one of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico.
The Red Admiral Butterfly Caterpillar is an interesting species to observe while exploring the outdoor habitats of New Mexico.
If you’re lucky, you may even catch one emerging from its chrysalis and transforming into a beautiful Red Admiral Butterfly!
15. Queen Butterfly Caterpillar
One of the most common types of caterpillars in New Mexico is the Queen Butterfly caterpillar. This species of butterfly is native to the Southwest United States, with its range extending from the Mexican border to the Colorado Rockies.
The caterpillar is usually found on plants in the sunflower family and is a bright orange or yellow color.
Going further, the Queen Butterfly caterpillar is well-known for its unique look, including large black spots. These spots act as eyespots and are used to scare off predators.
As the caterpillar matures, these spots become larger and more prominent, making the caterpillar even more distinct.
Like all other caterpillars, the Queen Butterfly caterpillar goes through several development stages before it becomes an adult butterfly.
As the caterpillar matures, it will start to build a silken cocoon, serving as a protective shelter while completing its metamorphosis. Once the cocoon has been completed, the adult butterfly will emerge after about two weeks.
Queen Butterfly caterpillars are not only found in New Mexico but can be found across the Southwest United States. They are a great addition to any backyard garden or butterfly-friendly habitat.
Plus, they will provide you with plenty of entertainment as they mature and transform into adult butterflies.
16. Purslane Caterpillar
The Purslane Caterpillar (Syngrapha aliunde) is one of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico. This nocturnal moth species can be identified by its yellow-brown body, with a black and yellow mottled abdomen and dark brown head and legs.
The wingspan of the adult moth can reach up to 1.2 inches in length.
The caterpillar feeds on various plants, including purslane, ragweed, and red clover. As a result of its diet, it is highly beneficial for controlling these invasive plant species.
The larval stage of the Purslane Caterpillar typically lasts from late April to early June, during which time the caterpillar will feed on its host plants.
The Purslane Caterpillar is an important species for New Mexico’s ecosystem, helping to balance out plant populations and enrich the soil with their droppings.
Because of this, it is important to be aware of and protect this species when they are found in the wild. We are just getting started on this list of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico.
17. Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar
The Polyphemus moth caterpillar is a common species found in New Mexico. This caterpillar species is one of the largest in North America and can reach up to 4 inches in length. The body is black and covered with bright yellow stripes.
The most distinctive feature of this caterpillar is its large yellow eyespots located on the thorax and near the head.
The Polyphemus moth caterpillar feeds on various trees and shrubs, including oaks, maples, cherry, and poplar.
It will consume its food during the day as well as at night. It is usually spotted between mid-May and early August.
When it is ready to pupate, the caterpillar will spin a silky cocoon on the trunk or branch of the tree it was feeding on. Once the cocoon is finished, it will remain there for up to two months before emerging as an adult moth.
If you are looking for the types of caterpillars in New Mexico, the Polyphemus moth caterpillar is a great place to start. With its unique markings and impressive size, it is sure to capture your attention!
18. Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar
The Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly is one of the most beautiful types of caterpillars in New Mexico that you can find. Its bright blue and black coloring make it quite eye-catching, and its stripes make it easy to identify.
This species of caterpillar has a brownish-black body with thin yellow stripes that are usually found along the sides and the head of the caterpillar.
Further, the caterpillar also has some black hairs sticking out of its body which help it to stay camouflaged amongst the vegetation.
As it matures, the Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar changes to a bright blue color and develops two long tails.
This species feeds on various plants, including grapes, passionflower, and pipevine, making it easy to find in many areas of New Mexico.
They tend to stay close to their food source as they move around and can be found near wooded areas and open fields.
If you’re lucky enough to find a Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar in New Mexico, you’ll be able to witness its transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. It’s a unique experience that’s sure to be memorable!
19. Owlet Moth Caterpillar
One type of caterpillar you can find in New Mexico is the Owlet Moth Caterpillar. These caterpillars are typically found in deciduous and mixed forests, grasslands, and scrubby areas. They feed on various deciduous trees, including alder, maple, and cherry.
The Owlet Moth Caterpillar has a bright green body with white and black stripes. Its head and thorax are bright yellows, with a series of black and white spots along its back.
It also has two false eyespots near the head, which is believed to confuse predators.
These caterpillars tend to remain in the same area and often create webs around their feeding areas for protection. They may suddenly move forward or backward when disturbed, indicating they’re not afraid of danger.
As larvae, Owlet Moth Caterpillars will feed on various plants, including leaves and flowers. As adults, they will lay eggs on nearby plants or in the soil.
The eggs hatch in late spring, and the caterpillars then go through several growth stages before becoming adults.
If you’re looking to find Owlet Moth Caterpillars in New Mexico, make sure to look in deciduous and mixed forests, grasslands, and scrubby areas.
With their bright colors and distinctive markings, these types of caterpillars in New Mexico are sure to be a fun and interesting addition to your nature outings!
20. Orange Dog Caterpillar
If you’re looking to find interesting types of caterpillars in New Mexico, you should check out the Orange dog Caterpillar.
This caterpillar species is recognizable due to its bright orange and black colors. It is commonly found in the southwestern US states, including New Mexico.
The Orangedog Caterpillar is found on trees like willow, cottonwood, and mesquite, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re out for a hike in the desert! They’re usually seen during summer and can grow up to 3 cm long.
These caterpillars are known for their ability to produce a foul smell when they feel threatened or disturbed. The smell is likened to that of rotting onions or garlic and will linger in the air for quite some time! While unpleasant, this method is highly effective in deterring potential predators.
The Orangedog Caterpillar’s diet consists primarily of leaves, but they may also eat small insects as well. Once fully grown, these caterpillars will pupate and turn into moths. The adults are often found around lights at night as they search for mates and food.
If you want to observe this unique creature, you can do so safely in its natural habitat. Just be sure not to disturb them, as they can be quite sensitive!
21. Moonseed Moth Caterpillar
The Moonseed Moth Caterpillar is a common type of caterpillar found in the state of New Mexico. It is known for its distinctive appearance, with a pale yellow-green body and thick black and white stripes.
The Moonseed Moth Caterpillar feeds mainly on the leaves of plants such as oak, apple, and cherry trees.
Additionally, it can grow to be up to two inches long and can be seen most often during late summer and early fall.
The Moonseed Moth Caterpillar may seem harmless, but it can be quite a nuisance when they feed on garden plants.
If you spot one of these caterpillars, it is important to take care to remove them from your garden immediately. They can cause serious damage to the leaves and fruit of plants if left unchecked.
Fortunately, a few natural remedies can help eliminate the Moonseed Moth Caterpillar. Sprinkling flour on affected plants is one such method, as it irritates the caterpillars and causes them to leave.
Another option is to spray the plant with a mixture of water and dish soap, which will also help drive the caterpillars away.
If you find yourself dealing with an infestation of Moonseed Moth Caterpillars, it is best to act quickly and follow any of the above methods to get rid of them before they do any serious damage.
This way, you can ensure that your garden stays healthy and thriving. Let’s proceed with this list of the various types of caterpillars in New Mexico.
22. Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar
Speaking of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico, one of them is the Monarch butterfly caterpillar. This type of caterpillar is widely recognized and can be found in many parts of the world.
In New Mexico, it is particularly abundant in the southern parts of the state, where it migrates during the warmer months.
Coupled with that, the Monarch butterfly caterpillar is a black and yellow striped species that feed on milkweed plants. When it is fully grown, it will form a chrysalis and eventually emerge as a beautiful Monarch butterfly.
This species of butterfly is an important pollinator and can often be seen fluttering around gardens and flower beds throughout New Mexico.
23. Io Moth Caterpillar
The Io Moth Caterpillar is a type of caterpillar that can be found in the state of New Mexico. It’s easy to identify, with its bright yellow body and red-orange stripes running along the length of it.
The Io Moth Caterpillar is also unique because it has a pair of horns at the front of its head.
Moreso, these caterpillars feed mainly on oak leaves, but they also like birch and willow leaves as well. They live in areas with these types of trees, like woodlands or near rivers. As they grow, they will molt several times until they reach adulthood.
The Io Moth Caterpillar can be found in almost all parts of New Mexico, and they are active during the day, so keep an eye out for them if you’re out exploring.
Once fully grown, they turn into the beautiful Io Moth, which has a yellow and brown wingspan up to three inches wide.
If you come across one of these types of caterpillars in New Mexico, be sure to watch it carefully and admire it from a distance. It is considered a threatened species in New Mexico. So we must take extra care not to disturb them while they are in their larval form.
24. Imperial Moth Caterpillar
New Mexico is home to many types of caterpillars, including the Imperial Moth Caterpillar. The Imperial Moth is a species of moth that can be found throughout North America.
It is one of the largest moths in North America, and its caterpillar has a distinctive black-and-white striped pattern.
The Imperial Moth Caterpillar grows to about 2 to 3 inches long, and its body is dark brown or black. The caterpillar’s head is yellow-orange and has two long yellow antennae. As the caterpillar matures, the stripes become more distinct.
The Imperial Moth Caterpillar is a common sight in New Mexico and can often be seen feeding on deciduous trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
These are types of caterpillars in New Mexico that are usually seen in late summer and autumn.
Once the caterpillar matures, it will spin a cocoon and emerge as an adult moth a few weeks later. The adult moth is brown with yellowish-orange spots along the wings. It has a wingspan of about 3 inches.
If you live in New Mexico, you may find these caterpillars in your garden or around your home. Keep an eye out for these interesting creatures!
25. Humped Green Fruitworm
The Humped Green Fruitworm (Zophodia grossulariae) is one of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico. It is part of the Geometridae family and grows to around 1 inch in length when fully mature.
The Humped Green Fruitworm is usually green or yellowish-green, with a hump near the center of its body.
This caterpillar is a pest of various fruits, vegetables, and legumes. It is known to feed on cherry, apple, bean, and sweet corn plants and can cause damage to the plant’s leaves, stems, and flowers. The caterpillar is capable of defoliating the entire plant if not managed correctly.
Equally important to note, the Humped Green Fruitworm can be controlled through various methods. These include the use of insecticides, cultural controls, and physical removal.
In order to prevent future infestations, it is important to monitor for signs of infestation and to remove any affected plants as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for an interesting addition to your backyard garden, the Humped Green Fruitworm is a great choice.
This colorful caterpillar will be a wonderful addition to your outdoor ecosystem and help keep your plants healthy and thriving.
26. Bent-Line Gray Moth Caterpillar
The Bent-line Gray Moth Caterpillar (Acronicta auricoma) is a type of caterpillar that can be found in New Mexico.
This fuzzy black and the white caterpillar has distinctive curved white lines on its back that make it easy to recognize. It can be found all over the state in forests, meadows, and even gardens.
The Bent-line Gray Moth Caterpillar feeds on the leaves of hardwood trees, including maples, poplars, and willows. As it grows, it molts up to five times before transforming into an adult moth.
When fully grown, the caterpillar pupates, emerging as a gray moth with distinctive orange markings on its wings.
This is one of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico that is also an important part of the New Mexican ecosystem, serving as food for various birds and small mammals.
So the next time you’re out exploring the beautiful outdoors of New Mexico, be sure to look out for this amazing little creature!
27. Forest Tent Caterpillar
The Forest Tent Caterpillar is a species of caterpillar commonly found in New Mexico. They are often considered a pest species due to the large amounts of foliage they consume.
However, these small but mighty critters provide great opportunities for learning and exploration in the state of New Mexico.
Forest Tent Caterpillars have a dark grey body with white markings along the sides. They are typically covered in small hairs, which can irritate humans when touched.
As larvae, they measure approximately 2 inches in length and can be identified by the white stripes running down their backs.
These caterpillars feed on a wide variety of trees, including aspen, elm, maple, and cottonwood. They also feed on other plants, such as grasses and shrubs.
Forest Tent Caterpillars can be found all over New Mexico, from the desert regions to the mountains.
These critters can sometimes be huddled together in groups to keep warm at night. During the day, they can be seen hanging from branches and devouring leaves.
When disturbed, these caterpillars will drop down from the trees using silken threads that serve as a form of protection against predators.
If you are looking for a unique and interesting insect to observe in New Mexico, the Forest Tent Caterpillar is definitely worth checking out! We are still on this list of the numerous types of caterpillars in New Mexico.
28. Fig Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
One of the unique types of caterpillars in New Mexico is the Fig Sphinx Moth Caterpillar. This moth species is quite common and can often be seen feeding on various plants, including figs and grapes.
The Fig Sphinx Moth Caterpillar has a beautiful green and yellow striped body, with small black spots dotting its back.
Moving on, its head is adorned with four black horns, which is why it’s sometimes called the Four-Horned Moth.
The Fig Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is a beneficial insect, as it helps keep garden pests under control. It feeds on aphids and other soft-bodied insects that may otherwise destroy your garden.
However, if you notice any of these critters in your garden, you should take care to remove them quickly before they can do any damage.
The Fig Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is an interesting creature and a great addition to any New Mexico garden!
29. Gaudy Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
The Gaudy Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is one of the most unique and striking caterpillars you can find in New Mexico.
This species belongs to the family of Sphingidae and is commonly found in the western parts of North America.
The caterpillars are large and can reach up to three inches. They have a distinct brownish-black color with yellow stripes, spots, and tufts of brown fur.
These unique features help them blend into the environment, making them difficult to spot in their natural habitats.
Their diets consist mainly of leaves and flowers from deciduous trees and shrubs. While they may look intimidating, these caterpillars are harmless to humans.
Gaudy Sphinx Moths are typically active during the day and rest at night. They can also be found hibernating during the winter months when they are not actively feeding.
If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these beautiful creatures on the list of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico, take a moment to appreciate their unique features and size.
This type of caterpillar is just one of many amazing species that can be found in New Mexico. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for other interesting critters while you explore!
30. Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar
One of the most incredible types of caterpillars in New Mexico is the Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar. This beautiful caterpillar is easily identifiable due to its colorful, vibrant appearance.
It has yellow and black stripes, with a brown head and bright yellow dots on its back.
The Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar feeds mainly on plants from the mustard family, such as cabbage and kale. It will also feed on other vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, and beans. It has been known to feed on ornamental plants, as well, occasionally.
The Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar is a beneficial insect that can help keep your garden healthy. They are great predators of harmful garden pests, including aphids and caterpillars of other moths and butterflies.
If you spot one of these beautiful caterpillars in your garden, be sure to leave it alone. These critters are harmless and can help keep your garden healthy. Plus, they look pretty cool too!
31. Black Carpet Beetle Larva
One of the most interesting types of caterpillars in New Mexico is the Black Carpet Beetle Larva. This species can be found throughout the state but is especially prevalent in dry climates.
The Black Carpet Beetle Larva has a distinct black-brown coloration and can be identified by its long, cylindrical body and dark head.
These caterpillars feed primarily on plant matter, such as leaves, stems, and grasses. They are also known to feed on dead insects and other organic material.
When threatened, the Black Carpet Beetle Larva can curl up into a ball, protecting itself from predators. The larvae are also known to emit a foul odor when disturbed.
If you’re looking for an interesting and unique species of caterpillar in New Mexico, the Black Carpet Beetle Larva is worth checking out!
32. Black-Headed Pine Sawfly Larva
The black-headed pine sawfly larva is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a unique and interesting caterpillar to observe in New Mexico.
This insect is found mainly in the western part of the state. It looks like a caterpillar but actually belongs to the sawfly family.
Proceeding the black-headed pine sawfly larva has a distinctive, striped pattern on its body. It has a black head, yellowish-green stripes along its sides, and a black tail. The coloration of this species helps it blend into its environment and avoid predators.
This caterpillar feeds on the needles of different species of pine trees. It will eat both older and younger needles and prefers new growth.
The larva also makes small holes in the pine needles as it feeds. As a result, the needles often turn yellow or brown.
Although the black-headed pine sawfly larva can be a pest if it eats too many needles, it does not cause significant damage to healthy trees.
If you spot this caterpillar in your garden, simply remove it to another location where it won’t be a problem.
The black-headed pine sawfly larva is an interesting insect to observe. Its unique appearance and behavior make it one of the most interesting types of caterpillars in New Mexico.
33. Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
The Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is an incredible species of caterpillar that can be found in New Mexico.
This unique caterpillar has a grey and brown striped body, with several rows of white hairs running down its back.
At the end of its body, it has two large black eyespots, which are believed to protect it from predators.
This caterpillar species are found on various trees, such as cottonwood, elm, ash, and willow. It feeds on the leaves of these trees and can grow up to 3 inches in length. It will enter a cocoon-like state during winter to prepare for metamorphosis into the adult moth.
Compared to other types of caterpillars in New Mexico, the Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is an impressive sight to see. Its coloring helps it blend into its environment while its eye spots protect it from danger.
If you’re ever in New Mexico and want to find this unique creature, be sure to look for it in the trees mentioned above.
34. Cabbage Looper
One type of caterpillar you can find in New Mexico is the Cabbage Looper. This bright green and yellow striped caterpillar is often found on cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables. It also feeds on tomatoes, beans, and sweet potatoes.
The adult moths of this species have light-colored wings with mottled dark spots and a wingspan of 1.5 inches.
The Cabbage Looper caterpillar prefers warm temperatures and is most active during the day. It also loves to hide in garden debris, so it’s important to clear away any dead plant material to keep them away.
To control this pest, handpicking them off plants or using insecticidal soap can help reduce populations.
Another option is to spray Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) directly onto the leaves where they are feeding. The Cabbage Looper is fascinating whether you’re an avid gardener or just curious about the different types of caterpillars in New Mexico.
Its colorful stripes and unique behavior make it a worthwhile addition to any outdoor space.
35. Camouflaged Emerald Moth Caterpillar
When you think of types of caterpillars in New Mexico, the first thing that comes to mind might be the majestic Monarch butterfly caterpillar.
But many other species of caterpillars are found in the state, including the camouflaged emerald moth caterpillar.
This caterpillar species can be found in parts of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. It is a small insect with a length of only up to 1.5 inches.
This caterpillar has an interesting camouflage pattern of green and brown stripes that help it blend in with its environment.
The camouflaged emerald moth caterpillar feeds on various plants, including oak, elm, sycamore, and willow. They like to feed during the day, although they are nocturnal.
In addition to the camouflage pattern, this caterpillar species also has several defensive mechanisms to protect itself from predators.
It can raise its head and tail when threatened, making it look bigger and more intimidating. It also produces a foul smell if disturbed, which helps ward off potential predators.
Once the caterpillar matures, it will form a chrysalis before emerging as a beautiful emerald moth. If you’re looking for an interesting and unique species of caterpillar to observe in New Mexico, then the camouflaged emerald moth is definitely one to keep an eye out for!
36. Cecropia Silkmoth Caterpillar
The Cecropia Silkmoth Caterpillar is one of the most impressive types of caterpillars in New Mexico that you can find there.
This spectacular species of moth is known for its vibrant colors and beautiful markings. It is one of the largest moths found in North America, and its larvae can reach up to 4 inches in length.
The Cecropia Silk Moth Caterpillar is a fuzzy-looking caterpillar with a dark-colored body and five pairs of long, yellow stripes running down its back.
Its head and tail are bright red, and its wings are a stunning combination of purples, blues, and yellows. The caterpillar feeds on several trees, including oak, poplar, willow, and cherry.
When the Cecropia Silk Moth Caterpillar is ready to transform into an adult moth, it weaves a cocoon around itself out of silk. The cocoon comprises tough fibers that protect the moth while it pupates.
After a few weeks, the adult Cecropia Silk Moth emerges from the cocoon and can be found flying around New Mexico at night.
These amazing caterpillars can be found in gardens, parks, and wooded areas across New Mexico during the spring and summer months.
If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of these remarkable creatures, you should keep your eyes open for their cocoons or watch for the adult moths at night.
37. Cimbicid Sawfly
The Cimbicid Sawfly is a type of caterpillar you can find in New Mexico. It’s an interesting creature with a unique appearance, making it stand out among the many types of caterpillars found in the area.
This caterpillar can range in size from 1/2 to 3/4 inch and have a dark brown or blackish-brown head and tail.
They usually have yellowish-green bodies with grey or white stripes and spots on their back. Their legs are long and spiny, which gives them a distinctive look.
The Cimbicid Sawfly feeds on leaves and other soft plants, as well as aphids, scale insects, and other small insects.
They are very effective at controlling pest populations, making them beneficial to gardeners and farmers in the region.
These are equal types of caterpillars in New Mexico that can be found throughout the state, so if you’re ever out and about, keep an eye out for them! Their unique looks and helpful habits make them a great addition to any garden.
38. Common Buckeye Butterfly Caterpillar
The Common Buckeye Butterfly Caterpillar is one of the most recognizable types of caterpillars in New Mexico.
This type of caterpillar is a medium-sized, black-and-yellow-striped caterpillar with small black and white hairs.
The Common Buckeye has a long slender body and a unique forked tail at the back end of its abdomen.
These caterpillars feed on various plants and trees, including cherry and plum trees, brambles, and even corn. They are active in the summer months, and the adults can be seen flying around flowers in search of nectar.
The adult Common Buckeye Butterfly has a wingspan of up to three inches, with striking orange and brown patterns.
The caterpillars of the Common Buckeye Butterfly are often mistaken for the Giant Swallowtail caterpillar, as they both have similar coloring.
However, the Common Buckeye has smaller black and white hairs than the Giant Swallowtail caterpillar and distinct yellow stripes on its sides.
The Common Buckeye Butterfly Caterpillar is a unique addition to the insect population of New Mexico and can often be found throughout the state.
If you’re looking for a unique caterpillar sighting, be sure to keep an eye out for this beautiful species!
39. Common Sawfly Larva
Did you know that one of the most common types of caterpillars in New Mexico is the Common Sawfly Larva?
These small, black-and-white striped caterpillars are commonly found around the state and can be recognized by their saw-like antennae.
Common Sawfly Larvae feed on the leaves of plants like maples, oaks, roses, and poplars.
In addition to eating plant matter, they are also known to feed on other insects like aphids and grasshoppers. This makes them a beneficial insect for gardeners, as they help keep harmful pests under control.
The larva of the Common Sawfly is generally black with white stripes. They grow to about an inch long when fully mature and have three pairs of legs. As they grow, they shed their skin up to four times before they pupate and become adult sawflies.
If you’re looking for a unique type of caterpillar to observe, be sure to look out for Common Sawfly Larva during your next visit to New Mexico. These interesting insects will give you a fun, up-close look at nature.
40. Crambid Moth Caterpillar
New Mexico is home to a variety of caterpillars, and one of the most amazing types of caterpillars in New Mexico that you can find is the Crambid Moth Caterpillar. These small, colorful insects are part of the Pyralidae family and can be found throughout the state.
The Crambid Moth Caterpillar has a unique appearance and grows up to 1-2 cm in length. It is most easily identified by its bright yellow and orange coloring.
The insect also has distinctive dark brown or black stripes running down its back and two bright orange spots near its head.
Moreso, this caterpillar species feeds mainly on grasses and other low-lying plants. They have a wide range of preferred habitats, including shrubs, grasslands, and even urban gardens.
During the day, the Crambid Moth Caterpillar will seek shelter among vegetation or other objects, making it difficult to spot.
In New Mexico, these caterpillars are often seen from late spring through early fall. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot one during the winter months!
In addition to being interesting to observe, these caterpillars are important pollinators in the region.
So next time you’re out in nature in New Mexico, keep an eye out for the Crambid Moth Caterpillar and marvel at its beautiful colors!
41. Cross-Striped Cabbage Worm
One of the most common types of caterpillars in New Mexico is the Cross-striped Cabbage Worm. This species belongs to the family Pieridae, one of the state’s most recognizable caterpillars.
The body of this caterpillar is yellowish-green with black stripes, and there are also tufts of white hair along the length of the body.
The Cross-striped Cabbage Worm is often found on plants like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and collard greens.
It has a taste for these leafy vegetables and will often feed on them for extended periods of time before transitioning into an adult butterfly.
The larvae of this species can also be seen eating other species of caterpillars, making it a valuable ally in controlling pest populations.
The Cross-striped Cabbage Worm often leaves behind a white, web-like substance when it feeds on plant material. This substance can protect the caterpillar from predators while they are growing and developing.
When fully mature, the caterpillar will make its way to the ground, building a cocoon and transitioning into an adult butterfly.
If you want to add more color to your garden in New Mexico, look no further than the Cross-striped Cabbage Worm. This caterpillar will bring some interest and intrigue to any outdoor space and help with pest control.
42. Elm Sawfly
The Elm Sawfly is not excluded from this list of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico. This sawfly species can be identified by its long, narrow body, black and white stripes, and bristly hairs. The larvae feed on the leaves of elm trees, making them a common pest in the region.
When disturbed, the Elm Sawfly will curl up into a ball or wiggle its body in an attempt to ward off potential predators.
Though they may seem intimidating, these caterpillars are actually quite harmless and don’t cause any damage to plants or other animals.
The adults of this species are small, black wasps with yellow markings. They can often be found hovering around elm trees during the summer months.
The eggs laid by the adults hatch into larvae, feeding on elm tree leaves until they eventually pupate and emerge as adult wasps.
Though the Elm Sawfly can sometimes become a nuisance for elm trees, it does help to keep the population of elm trees healthy by removing weak and diseased leaves.
They are an important part of New Mexico’s ecosystem and should be respected for their role in nature.
43. Fall Webworm
Fall webworms are interesting types of caterpillars in New Mexico that you will find. The adult moth is white or yellow and has a one-inch wingspan.
It lays its eggs on the underside of leaves, usually of deciduous trees such as walnut, cherry, apple, and others.
The caterpillars emerge from the eggs in late summer or fall and can be found building tents in the branches of their host trees.
These caterpillars feed on the leaves of their host trees, spinning silken webs between branches to protect them from predators. As they feed, they leave behind a thin layer of silk that makes up their tent.
Fall webworms can defoliate entire trees if their populations become too large, so it is important to monitor them closely.
The caterpillars have yellow-brown bodies with black stripes running along their length. They have four pairs of prolegs and can grow to around one and a half inches in length when fully grown.
In the fall, the caterpillars will drop to the ground to pupate and overwinter before emerging as moths in the spring.
It is important to monitor for fall webworms, as they can defoliate entire trees if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are a number of methods to control their populations and prevent significant damage to your trees.
These methods include manual removal of the caterpillars and their webs, pruning infested branches, and using insecticides.
If you’re lucky enough to spot these fascinating caterpillars in New Mexico, be sure to take a look and appreciate their beauty!
44. False Unicorn Caterpillar
One of the fascinating caterpillars you can find in New Mexico is the False Unicorn Caterpillar. This type of caterpillar is native to North America and is a member of the Giant Swallowtail butterfly family.
The False Unicorn Caterpillar is a beautiful yellow and green striped caterpillar that has four long spines on its head.
These long spines make it look similar to a unicorn, hence its name. It also has two long white stripes and seven short yellow stripes down its body.
This caterpillar is not only beautiful to look at, but it’s also quite rare. In fact, they are only found in small areas of New Mexico and can be hard to come by. As a result, if you’re lucky enough to spot one in the wild, be sure to take a picture!
The False Unicorn Caterpillar, one of the different types of caterpillars in New Mexico, feeds mostly on wild carrots and false Queen Anne’s Lace.
After about four weeks of eating, it will form a chrysalis and transform into a beautiful Giant Swallowtail butterfly.
If you ever have the chance to observe these incredible creatures up close, you won’t be disappointed. Not only are they an important part of the local ecosystem, but they’re also an awe-inspiring reminder of nature’s beauty.
45. Banded Woollybear Caterpillar
The Banded Woollybear caterpillar is a fascinating insect in New Mexico’s wild. This caterpillar is often found in dry grasslands, forests, gardens, and roadsides. It belongs to the family Arctiidae and has bright yellow, brown, black, and white stripes across its body.
This caterpillar loves to eat various types of plants, especially daisies and other members of the Asteraceae family.
During winter months, the Banded Woollybear caterpillar will often hibernate by spinning a cocoon around itself and burying itself in the soil.
In the springtime, this caterpillar transforms into a stunningly beautiful moth. With its orange, black and white coloring, the Banded Woollybear moth has a wingspan of up to 4 inches.
If you’re looking to spot these magnificent types of caterpillars in New Mexico, look for areas with lots of vegetation and try to avoid heavily urbanized areas.
Be sure to look carefully at low-growing vegetation like clover and dandelion leaves, and you may spot this amazing insect.
46. Army Cutworm
The Army Cutworm is a species of caterpillar that can be found in the state of New Mexico. This large and colorful caterpillar can grow up to 3 inches in length and is typically found during the late summer and fall months.
Army Cutworms are usually light brown in color, with black spots along their bodies and long hairs around their legs. They are also known for their distinctive mohawk-style tufts of hair on their heads.
This caterpillar species feeds on many plants, including grasses, dandelions, clover, and alfalfa.
These caterpillars are known for their habit of migrating in large groups, which can often be seen moving across roads in the evenings. This is thought to be a defensive behavior that serves to keep predators away.
While Army Cutworms are a common sight in New Mexico, they are not considered to be pests. In fact, they are beneficial to the environment because they are an important food source for many species of birds and other animals.
Above all, it is one of the types of caterpillars in New Mexico!
47. Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar
When you think of New Mexico, one of the first things that come to mind is the beautiful array of wildlife that can be found there. Among these animals are a variety of caterpillars that call the area home.
One of the most impressive types of caterpillars in New Mexico is the Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar. This caterpillar species can be found in the southern and eastern parts of the state.
Surging, the Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar has a unique appearance, with its body varying in color from black to gray. The larvae also have five rows of yellow spots along their back, giving them a striped look.
The caterpillar can grow up to 2 inches in length and, as its name suggests, will eventually become a butterfly in its adult stage.
The Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar is known for its large appetite and will feed on various host plants, including fennel, dill, parsley, and rue.
The larvae will feed for about three weeks before entering the pupal stage and finally emerging as an adult butterflies.
The Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar is an important species in New Mexico and plays a vital role in the ecosystem.
They provide food for birds and other predators, while their presence also helps to pollinate native plants. It’s important to preserve this species, so be sure to keep your eyes open when exploring the outdoors!
48. American Lappet Moth Caterpillar
The American Lappet Moth Caterpillar is a unique and fascinating creature that can be found in New Mexico.
This caterpillar species can be found in deciduous forests, grasslands, and wooded areas. Its distinctive appearance sets it apart from other species of caterpillars in the region.
This caterpillar species has a long and slender body with a dense covering of black, white, and orange hair. The head is small and black, with two bright yellow spots near the back of the head.
It also has six hairy prolegs that assist it in its movement.
The American Lappet Moth Caterpillar feeds primarily on the leaves of trees such as aspen, cottonwood, and oak. They are particularly fond of the leaves of box elder and ash trees.
As they grow, they become more and more picky eaters, preferring the young and tender shoots of trees.
The American Lappet Moth Caterpillar is an important part of the New Mexico ecosystem. These caterpillars are important in providing food for birds and other animals.
These types of New Mexico caterpillars also help break down dead plant material in their environment, aiding in the cycle of life.
If you’re looking for a unique species of caterpillar to observe in New Mexico, the American Lappet Moth Caterpillar is an excellent choice. They’re fairly easy to spot and are a fascinating part of the region’s wildlife.
49. American Lady Caterpillar
The American Lady Caterpillar is one of the most common species of caterpillars found in New Mexico. This vibrant caterpillar can be identified by its white, yellow, and orange markings on a black body.
As larvae, the American Lady Caterpillar feeds on the foliage of various plants and shrubs. When it matures, it transforms into an adult butterfly with a beautiful orange and brown pattern.
Furthermore, the American Lady Caterpillar is active from early spring to late summer and can be seen in gardens and fields throughout New Mexico.
Although this caterpillar is harmless to humans, it can become quite a nuisance if it consumes too much of the local vegetation.
If you come across an American Lady Caterpillar in your backyard, you can gently relocate it to a nearby meadow or grassland so it can feed without harming your garden.
We are almost done with our list of the different types of caterpillars in New Mexico but don’t stop reading!
50. Afflicted Dagger Moth Caterpillar
The Afflicted Dagger Moth caterpillar is one of the many amazing caterpillars you can find in New Mexico. This species of caterpillars are easily identifiable with its bright yellow and black coloration and is found all throughout the state.
The Afflicted Dagger Moth caterpillar feeds on various shrubs and trees, including alder, birch, willow, oak, and cherry. As larvae, they are not known to cause any damage to the plants they feed on.
However, their larvae have been known to feed on some crop plants as adults.
In addition to that, this species of caterpillars are relatively small, usually reaching only up to 2 centimeters in length. They are covered in bright yellow and black stripes, making them easily identifiable.
The Afflicted Dagger Moth caterpillar is an interesting insect to observe in the wild due to its attractive coloration and interesting behavior.
The caterpillars can often be seen eating or basking in the sun during the day. At night, they usually make shelters out of leaves or debris that they collect from the ground.
If you’re looking for an interesting insect to observe while exploring New Mexico, the Afflicted Dagger Moth caterpillar is definitely worth keeping an eye out for!
We are now done with our list of the amazing types of caterpillars in New Mexico!
Caterpillars may not be the most glamorous creatures, but they deserve some respect. After all, this type of insect transforms into butterflies and moths!
That kind of metamorphosis takes some serious effort, and it’s even cooler when you think about how many different kinds of caterpillars there are in New Mexico!
If you’re looking to see some stunning bugs while out in nature, well listed above are amazing types of caterpillars in New Mexico that you can find in the wild! We are sure that this article helped, till later!