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Croton caterpillar, Achaea janata (Linnaeus), (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

April 20, 2010

Found this little beastie munching on one of our croton plants the other day.  Here in Hawaii it is aptly named the Croton Caterpillar, but I guess in other parts of the world it goes by the moniker “Castor Oil Semi-looper.”  Don’t know much about this handsome insect, other than 1) the species name, Achaea janata (Linnaeus); 2) the family, Noctuidae; and 3) it eats crotons and evidently castor bean plants.  I did manage to get a few mediocre pics, so here they are:

I’m trying to rear this guy out to an adult, so if I’m successful, I’ll update this post with some pics of the moth.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura Bryant permalink
    May 10, 2010 2:55 pm

    Very interested to find your photos as we have our own matching youngster!

    My six year old daughter who is bug and insect mad found him a week ago on a rose bush at school.

    Since then he has been very well cared for, given lots of love and the name of Sticky Fingers. To date we have only had success with the feeding of rose leaves but he seems to devour them quite quickly! Well best of luck with the caterpillar rearing – will be hoping for a successful outcome for both you and us and of course the two caterpillars!! Look forward to hearing how it goes….along with any tips you may have!

    Kind regards,
    Laura Bryant

    • corycampora permalink
      May 12, 2010 12:19 pm

      Glad to hear you have a young entomologist in your family! The caterpillar in question pupated a while ago and eclosed last week. I did get some photos, but unfortunately I am out of town for a few weeks and don’t have access to them at the moment. Being the cruel, bug torturing fiend that I am, I put the moth in the freezer back in Hawaii so I can pin and spread it when I get back.

  2. Laura Bryant permalink
    May 12, 2010 12:36 pm

    eek dont think I’ll tell my little one that!!!! She was in floods when her sister in a moment of meaness said she hated the caterpillar and might squash it!

    Am hoping we can keep it alive long enough for it to turn into the moth!


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