MOTH caterpillars - Group #1

This is a younger instar of the Smeared Dagger Moth. Photographed at Siebenthaler Fen, October 2, 2016. 

Another Unexpected Cycnia caterpillar, munching away on its host plant, butterfly weed (orange milkweed). All of the Unexpected Cycnias on this page were photographed at Cox Arboretum. I have also found this species at Germantown MetroPark. I usually find Unexpected Cycnia caterpillars in the month of June and occasionally in July and  early August. 

Smeared Dagger Moth. These caterpillars have distinctive yellow stripes along their sides. 

Spotted Apatelodes Moth. These large caterpillars can be either white or yellow. 

Another Spotted Apatelodes caterpillar. I found this cute little guy at Huffman Prairie. I have seen several of these caterpillars at Huffman Prairie, and also one at Cox Arboretum. 

Unexpected Cycnia Moth. Finding this caterpillar was certainly unexpected for me: this species is classified as endangered in Ohio. 

A pair of Unexpected Cycnias nestled in butterfly weed flowers. 

These are Delicate Cycnia caterpillars. These pale gray caterpillars are less colorful than their cousins above, but Delicate Cycnias are definitely the more common of the two species. These caterpillars remind me of downy gray bird feathers. They feed on milkweed and dogbane. 

This is the white version of the Spotted Apatelodes caterpillar. They have cute little red "booties" on their feet. 

Smeared Dagger Moths are common around many types of watery habitats. I have found them around ponds, marshy wetlands, and along the Great Miami River. I often encounter these caterpillars while I am hunting for dragonflies. 

Another yellow Spotted Apatelodes caterpillar. These caterpillars have a distinctive pattern of black dots along the sides of their abdomens, shown here.

This is an American Dagger Moth caterpillar. It looks somewhat similar to the Spotted Apatelodes caterpillars shown above, but American Daggers do not have black dots along the side of the abdomen.