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Slug Caterpillar Moth (Various spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Slug Caterpillar Moth



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Image Credit: Peter and Linda v.D. from NC
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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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Image Credit: Tracy B. from NC
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The young Slug Caterpillar Moth is fascinating to look at, breaking the mold for caterpillars everywhere.



Updated: 03/04/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The larval form 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 legs and feet. Those suckers make it possible to travel on the under-side of leaves. Like a typical slug, it glides along, feeding on the leaves of a variety of plants. It can be found in a variety of habitats. Some species have stinging bristles, or hairs, on the caterpillar. People may be allergic to them. This defensive adaptation protects it from being bothered by humans, but it was intended to deter avian and insect predators.

The adult moth is somewhat interesting. Most are brown and may have residual green or white markings on them. The adult is nocturnal and does not eat. It spends all its energy trying to reproduce instead.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon
Insect stinger icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Limacodidae
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          Genus: Various
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Various spp.
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 30mm (0.39" to 1.18")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, white, brown
Descriptors: snail, bristles, hairs, spikes, flat, slow, caterpillar, flying, stinging
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 10mm and 30mm
Lo: 10mm
Md: 20mm
Hi: 30mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
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Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Slug Caterpillar Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Slug Caterpillar Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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