Hungry caterpillar

Asked August 23, 2018, 8:50 AM EDT

Can you identify this caterpillar which has defoliated my witch hazels? Will it become a beautiful butterfly? Should I be trying to control them?

Baltimore County Maryland shrubs yellow-necked caterpillar insect or spider id

1 Response

This is a yellow-necked caterpillar (Datana ministra). It will become a tan and white moth.
We do not recommend control. They are native and their population is declining. It is late in the season and they are food for others in the ecosystem.
They have many host plants, and you may not see them in your yard again.