Cabbage Palm Caterpillar

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Scientific name

Litoprosopus futilis (Grote & Robinson)

Family

Noctuidae

Synonyms

Dyops futilis Grote & Robinson

Description

Adults: Wingspan 5 cm; body and forewing color gray and brown; hindwing with dark eyespot about 5 mm in diameter, each eye spot with white linear dashes.

Larvae: Length 3.8 cm; head and cervical shield shiny black; body color taffy with pinkish stripes and covered with black spines; bases of setae ringed with white. Larvae becomes pink just before pupating.

Diagnostic features

Adult: Dark eyespot is found on each hindwing. Within each eye spot are two approximately parallel white linear dashes.

Larvae: Color black with pink stripes and long white setae; bases of setae are ringed with white.

Distribution

United States (North Carolina to Florida, west to Texas).

Hosts

Palms are the only known host, including the genera Sabal, Serenoa, and Washingtonia.

Additional comments

The caterpillar can usually be found when palms are initiating their flowering spikes. They may be found deep within these developing flower spikes.

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