Professor L. L. Hyche
Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology
Auburn University

Notodontid caterpillars feed on foliage of a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs. Some species feed in colonies, others are solitary feeders. Most feed exposed on foliage, a few construct leaf nests. Some are hairy, some are bare, and some bear conspicuous spines, tubercles, and/or horn-like projections. Many notodontid caterpillars, especially the Datanas, when disturbed or alarmed, raise the head and rear ends as if to fight back. Larvae of most species possess a specialized gland on the ventral surface of the first thoracic segment from which an acidic chemical spray can be ejected. The spray is apparently used for defense against predators and parasites; spray from some species is reported to blister or irritate human skin. The notodontids are among the most common caterpillars found on foliage of Alabama hardwoods. Several species are important defoliators.

Datanas and Prominents

WALNUT CATERPILLAR - Datana integerrima (Grote and Robinson)

YELLOWNECKED CATERPILLAR - Datana ministra (Drury)

DREXEL'S DATANA - Datana drexelii (Henry Edwards)

CONTRACTED DATANA - Datana contracta (Walker)

AZALEA CATERPILLAR - Datana major (Grote and Robinson)

POPLAR TENTMAKER - Clostera inclusa (Hubner)

For additional information

[ Lepidoptera ]   [ Foliage Feeders ]   [ Crown Insects ]   [ Alabama Trees ]

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