There are many different types of caterpillars across the United States, including Texas.
Some of them are more common in Texas than others, but no matter what type of caterpillar it’s seeing, it’s essential to respect these fascinating little creatures and leave them alone if they are not causing any harm to your lawn or garden.
Here are some of the most common types of caterpillars in Texas and some tips on handling encounters with these little bugs.
1. Monarch Caterpillar
A beautiful orange and black Monarch caterpillar are the most recognizable types of caterpillars in Texas. Monarchs are native to North America and are easily identified by their distinctive black and white stripes.
They can be seen feeding on milkweed, a poisonous plant that has evolved to provide refuge for monarchs.
This coloration allows them to blend into the surrounding environment, so predators will be less likely to spot them. The Monarch is the only butterfly to make long-distance migrations from Canada down to Mexico.
Some individuals make multiple daily trips, traveling as far as 4,0Monarchs’ Monarchs’ unique migration pattern makes them an essential part of our ecosystem as they act as pollinators and help keep insect populations under control.
Cabbageworms are in the caterpillar stage of a gray-green-brown moth and are part of the more prominent family Geometridae.
They can be found in North America east of the Rocky Mountains, including Canada and Mexico. Cabbageworms feed on cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and related plants.
The term cabbage worm is also sometimes used to describe cabbage worms. Cabbage worms are not known to fly far from their food sources, usually within 500 feet or less from where they hatched.
They pupate during late summer to early fall and emerge as moths around August or September when the nights start to get cooler.
3. Viceroy Caterpillar
Rulers are one of the most common types of caterpillars in Texas. They’re large, green, and easy to identify because their heads are yellow with a black stripe down the middle.
Viceroy caterpillars feed on various plants, including pecans, willow, cottonwood, aspen, birch, and more.
At the end of their four-week development period, they form a chrysalis (pupa) that resembles a bird dropping.
Unlike other types of caterpillar larvae that spin cocoons from silk threads for pupation, viceroy caterpillars attach themselves to foliage and suspend their puppet’s s; predators do not easily find them.
In addition to being known for looking like a bird dropping, viceroy caterpillars are also distasteful due to chemicals released during the pupal stage.
4. Large Maple Spanworm
This bug is a member of the family Geometridae, and the larvae are considered agricultural pests to crops like tobacco, corn, soybeans, cotton, and fruit. It can be found across the US, and Caspanworm’s life cycle takes two years to complete.
In late spring or early summer, a female moth lays eggs on the leaves of host plants. The eggs hatch into tiny caterpillars that feed on the leaves for about six weeks before they form cocoons and pupate on tree bark or other surfaces close to where they were born.
After eight days, adults emerge from their cocoons as moths and start to mate.
A few weeks later, females lay more eggs on plants, so the cycle continues until the following year. If you find these types of caterpillars in Texas, methods are available to control them without pesticides.
For instance, you can release natural enemies such as parasites and predators that will eat the pests.
5. Woolly Bear
One of the most popular types of caterpillars in Texas is the Woolly Bear. As their name suggests, they have dark brown and hairy bodies with a white band that runs down their back, giving them a striped appearance.
They grow to be about 2 inches long and are active during the day. This type of caterpillar can often be found on tomato plants, raspberry bushes, and other vegetation types.
When it comes time for pupation, these caterpillars will climb to the top of trees or other objects before shedding their skin and spinning themselves into a cocoon.
The Woolly Bear is harmless but may become an annoyance if it makes contact with your skin because of its hairiness
If you’re like most people, you see some types of caterpillars in Texas is the most excitthat’sing that happens to you all day. But what kind are they? Hornworms!
These giant green guys get their name from the horn-shaped spines on their heads, which they use to stick onto leaves and branches while eating.
They also have an interesting behavior called lazy looping, where they will spin around in circles before settling down for a nap.
The females lay eggs during these naps, finding them easy by looking for fuzzy patches on the ground below. Be sure not to step on or touch them, as they can give humans a painful sting!
7. White-Marked Tussock Caterpillar
The White-Marked Tussock caterpillar is a small moth found in the southeastern United States, including areas like Florida and Louisiana.
These moths typically have brown or gray bodies with white stripes on the back and the front. The head and legs are either brown or black, while they have yellow patches on their abdomens.
These moths are also called bears lay bears due to their fuzzy appearance. They get this nickname because they typically appear during late wins.
They’ve been living underground for most of their life cycle. Unlike other types of caterpillars in Texas, they don’t need don’t produce any kind of silk to protect themselves from predators, allowing them to be eaten by birds, spiders, and ants without any chance for defense.
8. Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar
The Variegated Fritillary caterpillar is a fascinating creature, to say thIt’sast. It’s a green, brown, and yellow color pattern with a thick black stripe down the middle. The Variegated Fritillary caterpillar was initially found in eastern North America.
However, it has been introduced to Japan, New Zealand, Europe, and Hawdon’tBut don’t worry, these guys are not harmful to humans or animals. They only eat poisonous plants like milkweed or other types of nettles.
9. Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar
Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar is one of North America’s most abundant and recognizable caterpillars. These particular types of caterpillars in Texas are found on plants that are members of the Asclepias family, which includes milkweed.
Milkweed grows throughout much of the United States and can be seen as a weed or garden plant in many parts of Texas.
The Milleweed Tussock Caterpillar feeds primarily on leafy plants and can be identified by its yellow-white body covered with short black hairs.
10. Curve-Lined Owlet Moth Caterpillar
This tiny, brown caterpillar is commonly found on plants like tomatoes and cucumbers. They are a type of owlet moth which means they have a resemblance to owls with their large heads and black-and-yellow eyespots.
Curve-lined Owlet Moth caterpillars have an orange body with black stripes that run down their back.
They have six pairs of orange legs covered in short hairs and a long, thin tail. These creatures can grow up to 1 inch in length.
The eggs of these moths are laid on the leaves or fruit of the host plant and hatch after about two weeks. The larvae then eat the leaves or fruit while hiding from predators.
11. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar
The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar has a yellow or orange body with black and yellow stripes. They are voracious eaters, often eating their weight at one feeding.
These types of caterpillars in Texas are most active during the day but can be found on plants as early as 5:00 am.
Their surroundings often camouflage them, so look closely for them on plants like aster, columbine, hollyhock, and fun they’ll want false move, and they’ll jump!
Be careful not to touch these wiggly creatures because their hair will stick to you don’t and sting. If you don’t want to feel the caterpillar, gently use an insect net to scoop it up.
12. Banded Tussock Caterpillar
The banded tussock caterpillar is a black and yellow striped caterpillar that feeds on over 100 different plants, including grape, citrus, eucalyptus, oak, pine, and willow don’t.
These types of caterpillars in Texas don’t sting or bite, but they do cause harm to the plants they feed on. The banded tussock caterpillar is found primarily in the eastern United States and around the Great Lakes area.
They are often mistaken for their close relative, the Io moth, which has a similar black and yellow striped color pattern.
13. Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar
This type of caterpillar can be found in eastern North America. They are also known as puss caterpillars or woolly bears. The larvae have black and white bands and can grow up to 3 inches long.
These types of caterpillars feed on plants like clover, alfalfa, soybeans, strawberries, and dogwood. A giant leopard moth caterpillar is a type of hairy insect that is orange with brown spots and wings with a 2-inch wingspan.
It feeds on various types of plants but mostly likes apples and grapes. If you see one of these types of caterpillars in Texas, please get in touch with your local pest control company immediately.
14. Parsley Caterpillar (Black Swallowtail)
Parsley caterpillars are black with white spots and red hairs on their sides. These types of caterpillars in Texas can be found from late June to mid-August and feed mainly on parsley, dill, cilantro, fennel, and other related plants.
The best way to get rid of them is to cut down the plants they are feeding on and then sprdon’tem with insecticide.
If you don’t want to kill them, remove the weeds and keep your garden well-weeded. They may also be killed by knocking them into a bucket of soapy water or placing the bucIt’snear near where they are crawling. Ladybugs or lacewings may eat these types of caterpillars in Texas for you.
15. Spotted Apatelodes Caterpillar
The spotted apatelodes caterpillar is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Texas. They’re usually brightly colored and have a striking white stripe running down their backs. These guys are harmless but can be annoying if they infest your property.
If you think you don’t have an infestation on your hands, don’t hesitate to contact a pest control company! One good thing about these little guys is that they prefer feeding off plants over humans, so as long as you keep them away from your prizedIt’sseplants, you should be fine.
It’s best to avoid touching them when possible; some say that when these creatures feel like humans, it gives them hives or makes their skin itch for days afterward.
16. Io Caterpillar
Io caterpillars are very different from the other types of caterpillars in Texas. They have a single horn on their head and a lot more hair than most other caterpillar species.
They like to hide under leaves; don’t you find them, don’t touch them because they can bite hard.
An interesting fact about this type of caterpillar is that it only won’t plant! It won’t eat any animal products or anything that is not slant-based. It’s pretty cool that this specific caterpillar has evolved to be so selective with what it will consume.
17. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar
Cecropia Moth caterpillars are one of the most common and widely distributed types of caterpillars in Texas. They are easy to identify because they have a long, green body with a stripe on each side.
The Cecropia Moth caterpillar has brown spiraling markings that run down the length of its body, leading to an orange and black head.
These caterpillars grow up to four inches long. Cecropia Moths live throughout North America and feed on hundreds of plant species, including oak trees, aspen trees, cherry trees, apple trees, and coniferous trees like spruce and pine.
18. Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar
Spicebush swallowtail caterpillars can be found throughout the eastern half of North America, from Canada to Mexico.
They are most common during the warmer months but are often active from March through November. The larvae feed on plants in the genus Lindera, which grow mainly on the east coast and Gulf Coast regions.
In particular, these caterpillars feed exclusively on spicebush trees (Lindera benzoin). Adults have a wingspan of 2.5 inches, are yellow with black stripes, and have a black spot near the tip of each forewing.
They fly quickly between patches of host plant flowers or leaves and will sometimes bask on leaves when not feeding.
19. Flannel Moth Caterpillar (Asp)
The Flannel Moth Caterpillars are hairy types of caterpillars in Texas. They’re typically black, brown, or white and are covered with soft hair.
Adults are often seen from May to September feeding on the leaves and flowers of plants such as dogwood, currant, birch, and lilac.
This fuzzy caterpillar larva feeds on the leaves and flowers of plants like dogwood, currant, birch, and lilac. They grow up to two inches long.
20. Hubbard’s Silk Moth Caterpillar
The Hubbard’s Silk Moth caterpillar is a giant, hairy caterpillar with a white stripe down the center. The hairs and spines on this caterpillar cause it to be painful to touch.
Its life cycle is interesting because it starts as they’re laid by a moth. The eggs hatch into larvae and go through five molts before they pupate and become adults.
They will usually have at least one generation per year, but some can have up to three generations in one year, depending on the season.
In the end, you or your child can encounter many types of caterpillars in Texas. Hubbard’s about these creatures is critical so you Hubbard’s informed decisions about how to handle them and what precautions to take.
For example, the saddleback caterpillar is not poisonous but has sharp bristles on its back, which will cause a rash if touched.
The Rosy Maple Moth caterpillar does not have any harmful effects, but feeling it may cause an allergic reaction to develop due to a chemical released when the larva is threatened.