I am googled out! Does anyone know off hand?
Which cat uses Dahlia as a host plant?
Some kind of mot (would say a pesky one - then again, anything not big or of the silks I call pesky!)
If you have Wagner's caterpillar book you might try finding it there.
I am no butterfly expert, but I looked in my book Caterpillars in the Field and Garden, a field guide.
That one looks like some type of grass skipper. There are a million picturers that are similar to the one you have. They all feed on grass. I cannot find any caterpillar that feeds on dahalias? Lots of Skippers are common in your area.
Skipper cats have differently shaped heads. No little hairs on their body either. The majority feed on grasses. No butterfly caterpillar that I know of eats dahlias.
Am still voting for a PESKY moth :o)
JLP you can always raise it and let us know what that mystery cats turns out to be.
ps...hate to admit it - but I've raised more pesky moth cats and bug eggs that I will ever fess up to!!!
I am going to let him be for now. His is still tiiiiiny. He is definitely eating the dahlia leaves. He's pretty easy to find because he stays on/near the stalk close to the soil. I will keep everyone updated.
I am growing dahlias this year for the first time (collarette dandy and bishop's children) and i must say i am not too thrilled with the results. But, today i found this little caterpillar chewing on one of the dahlias...so now i am intrigued. Also, now we are 6 years smarter than we were when this original post appeared. This is not the same caterpillar as the one jlp222 had. It is quite small (between 1/4 - 1/2 inch) with long hairs (showing in the 1st photo) and appears to be solitary. I also checked the web for information re dahlia as a host plant, without success. Any one have any ideas?
This message was edited Nov 29, 2015 11:25 AM
I do not recognize it, and the closest matches in my book were all moths. Painted Ladies have a wide range of host plants that might include Dahlias.