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Punk Caterpillar

Molippa nibasa

Description:

It is a thick-bodied caterpillar of 7-7½ cm. The ground color is black with irregular light yellow rings. The spines, which are light blue tipped with black protrude from red spots within these yellow rings (foto #3). The head is a deep cinnamon-red (foto #4). You can see the Molippa nibasa moth here: https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/13... Thanks for the ID and link Neil. The common name was voted on by Neil and myself 😊

Habitat:

This caterpillar was found @ 700 masl on unknown vegetation along a trail to the river in the Amazon rainforest of SE Ecuador.

Notes:

I was clearing a trail with a machete when this caterpillar fell into the area I was working, obviously dislodged by my work. I have no idea what plant, bush or tree if might have fallen from. To keep it from being injured and to get a picture, I let it crawl onto my hand (not knowing if it was venomous or not) and went back to the house. Later I put it on a branch that had leaves that I thought looked like they would taste good, but then, I’m not a caterpillar so I have no idea 😊

1 Species ID Suggestions

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago
Molippa nibasa caterpillar
Molippa nibasa Flickr


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17 Comments

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

Thanks Dawn. In the process of moving back to the US for a few months and not spending much time on PN ☹ Hopefully I can get back here soon.

Beautiful spotting!

thornton24
thornton24 a year ago

That is a caterpiller and it might be dangerous.

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

Thanks Swain. It was very cool.

swain25
swain25 a year ago

Cool caterpiller it is so interesting

swain25
swain25 a year ago

Hi

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

Thanks Daniele and Neil. Somehow it seems to fit. Thanks for allowing us a little leeway in our notes :-)

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Tukup, you legend! I'm impressed :)

DanielePralong
DanielePralong a year ago

Who said punk was dead? :-) Great spotting and team work!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Common names have to originate from somewhere. "Punk Caterpillar" is awesome! Just do it! Here's the moth, and look at the hair on it. "Punk Moth!" https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/13... I reckon add this to your description as well.

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

I've seen people with spiked hair that color, but I suppose "Punk Caterpillar" wouldn't work. Thanks much for the help Neil.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

If you're happy with that suggestion, I am happy to make a formal ID. It is such a cool caterpillar. Colour variations of other images could very well be photo processing as well. I'll also try and find a good reference link and common name. Now that's a tuffy :-/

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

Thanks Neil. Molippa nibasa looks good to me. I'm seeing some variation in colors on other fotos of this moth larvae. I believe it is a good match. I appreciate your efforts. Feel free to make an official ID suggestion if you want and give others a change to +1 your ID.

Thanks Brian. The colors are really unbelievable, as are the spines :-)

Brian38
Brian38 a year ago

Wow! Unbeleivable Tukup!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

What an impressive beast this is! I did manage to find this - https://www.flickr.com/photos/75374522@N... Saturniid Caterpillar, perhaps Molippa nibasa? (images at bottom page 3 and top page 4). Slight colour variation, particularly the spines, but at least a start. Also a list of other Molippa species - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molippa I'll keep digging around :)

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

Thanks Bayucca. I found a match from Peru on the internet, but Saturniidae was all the farther they took it too. Hopefully I will be able to search later.

bayucca
bayucca a year ago

Saturniidae. Cannot help you more at the moment.

Tukup
Spotted by
Tukup

Morona Santiago, Ecuador

Spotted on Jul 28, 2015
Submitted on May 4, 2019

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