Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 535523

Velvet Armyworm Moth
Spodoptera latifascia

Observation date: May 30, 2011
Submitted by: kbunnykara
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: Houston, TX; 94 degrees F today: The entire caterpiller fits on a quarter if curled up. This is either the second one we've seen, or it's the same on and not growing very fast. The first time we saw one, it was hangout out on the fennel with some ladybugs and aphids. Today, it was strolling across the patio. It seemed smaller than the one we saw before, but the poor guy curled up when we tried to get him onto a leaf or twig so it's hard to tell. We have a butterfly garden that gets Giant Swallowtails, Polydamas Swallowtails, some little ones we hope are Pipevine Swallowtails, and Monarchs. Earlier this Spring, we had what looked like a brown form of the Tersa Sphinx Moth caterpillar on the fennel one night - it was over three inches long. The little guy in the picture is small so far. He has been out during the early evenings, but not into the night, to our knowledge. I have never seen him feed on anything, so I don't want to bring him inside given lack of knowing his diet. Can you help us identify him? We don't want to harm him, just make sure he has what he needs.
Status: Resident
Verified by: kmortensen
Verified date: August 16, 2011
Coordinator notes: None.
Checklist region(s): Harris County, Texas, United States