Stinging rose caterpillar

Slug caterpillars

Link to Caterpillars in Your Yard and Garden Stinging rose caterpillars (Parasa indetermina) are present in summer and fall. They produce one to two generations per year.

The body of this brightly colored caterpillar, about 1 inch long, has alternating, longitudinal stripes of yellow and orange. On the top of the body is a longitudinal blue-purple stripe with thinner black lines outlining it. There are long, stout lobes with poisonous spins on the top and sides of the body. Host plants include oak and a variety of other forest trees and shrubs.

About the family

Slug caterpillars of the Limacodidae family have reduced thoracic legs, lack abdominal legs (replaced by sucking discs), and move in a creeping fashion. They are 0.4 to 1 inch long and may be oddly shaped. The head is often hidden under the thorax, adding to their sluglike appearance. The body ranges in color from dull to bright (green, yellow, orange, red and purple) and may be smooth or covered with elongated, stiff (sometimes poisonous) spines and urticating (stinging) hairs.