Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 916033

Observation date: August 12, 2013
Submitted by: RecGirl
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: Hundreds of these caterpillars were found in a large arroyo. Walked for approximately 1 mile up the arroyo and saw at least 5 each step taken. Monsoon rains have been taking place this month. Soil was moist. A variety of desert plants were nearby. Many caterpillars were found digging the back side of themselves into the sand leaving the top half of their body exposed. When handled, caterpillar would "spit" an orange/brown liquid. If disturbed in any way, caterpillar would writhe (for at least one minute) and then play dead on their side.
Status: Resident
Verified by: kmortensen
Verified date: April 28, 2014
Coordinator notes: Thank you for sharing the behavioral details and wonderful photos.
Checklist region(s): United States, New Mexico, Sandoval County