November 03, 2003
Name this Caterpillar

Can you identify this caterpillar? It was crawling along the sidewalk in a residential area of Beppu, Oita prefecture when I snapped its photo on October 13. It’s quite pretty, but I’ve no idea what it is.

oita-caterpillar2.jpg The bulbous, bright orange head is unusual so it should be easy enough to ID, but I can’t find anything that looks like it or any references on the Internet.

I checked my usual references: What is This Caterpillar?, the USGS Caterpillars of Eastern Forests and closest to home, Fukuoka Butterflies (in Japanese) but I’m stumped.

Posted by kuri at November 03, 2003 09:57 AM


Posted by: fukurasuzume? on November 3, 2003 11:55 AM

Yes! That’s it. Fukurasuzume.

That caterpillar turns into a huge 8-9 cm moth. I had a moth that size in my office in September, but Tod had the camera in Zurich, so no photos.

I wonder if it was a Fukurasuzume? It vanished overnight after leaving a long, drippy, tea-colored stain on my wall.

Posted by: Kristen on November 3, 2003 03:19 PM

That is beautiful. I love caterpillars and have to resist the urge to trap them and keep them in a jar. This one is like a firecracker! Not very camouflaged at all, unless it’s hanging out on a wall at Nekobukuro!

Posted by: Jenn on November 3, 2003 11:39 PM

It looks like a samurai caterpillar to me.

Which is funny because I saw these two 5 cm wide, 10 cm long chunky caterpillars in a small town in mid-South Africa which looked like they were made out of those tiny colourful Zulu beads (no photo unfortunately).

Why do caterpillars absorb their host cultures? Or is it rather the other way around?

Posted by: sean on November 9, 2003 07:25 AM
Post a comment

Email Address (optional):

URL (optional):


Remember info?