Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Slug Caterpillar Moth - (Various spp)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 9/25/2015

The Slug Caterpillar Moth is more interesting as a juvenile where it breaks the mold for caterpillars everywhere.

The larval form (caterpillar) of the Slug Caterpillar Moth is unlike the typical, tubular caterpillar. Its flattened body is oddly shaped, almost giving it the appearance of a chubby leaf. It is still slow moving, like ordinary caterpillars, but it has a few suckers instead of 'feet'. They seem to like traveling on the under-side of leaves which is made possible by those suckers. Like slugs, they glide along, feeding on leaves of a variety of plants. They can be found in a variety of habitats.

Some species have stinging bristles, or hairs, on the caterpillar. Some people may be allergic to them. This defensive adaptation protects it from being bothered by humans as well as avian and insect predators.

The adults are less visually interesting. Most are brown moths that may have residual green or white markings on them. The adult is nocturnal and does not eat. They spend their energy trying to find mates instead.

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Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common name: Slug Caterpillar Moth
Scientific Name: Various spp

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Lepidoptera
      Family: Limacodidae
       Genus: Various
        Species: spp

Adult Size (Length): 10mm to 30mm (0.39in to 1.18in)

Identifying Colors: green, white, brown

Additional Descriptors: snail, bristles, hairs, spikes, flat, slow, caterpillar, flying, stinging

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Canada; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.