Skiff Moth Caterpillar – Identification
Q: This green critter was found on a Japanese maple tree leaf. It is 1/2″ long and 3/8″ wide and 3/8″ high at the tallest point. The two dark brown “balls” are some of the excrement of this bug. Underneath the abdomen is opaque white and sort of bumpy.
A: This is the larva of a skiff moth. This and several other larvae from this moth family are called “slug caterpillars” because their legs are tiny and their movement is slug-like.
Several slug moth larvae have stinging hairs (saddleback caterpilar, puss caterpillar, etc) but this is not the case for the skiff moth caterpillar. It is totally harmless.
Because they are so few, little damage is ever noticed from their feeding.