Brown Caterpillar is Likely a Cutworm

Earlier this week we received a photograph from one of our readers. No text accompanied the picture, so we will assume the reader is curious about what the specimen in the photo is.

The photo shows a brown creature with 13 segments. We are fairly certain this is actually a caterpillar, not a worm. But what kind of caterpillar did our reader find? Unlike some of the other caterpillars we have identified, this one doesn’t have any distinct features. Its body is band-less, stripe-less, spotless, and without a distinctive tail or horns.

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The plain appearance of this specimen actually makes it more difficult to identify, but we have an idea.

We believe this is probably a cutworm, which is a type of moth larva. These caterpillars are dull brown and hide in the soil during the day, and then come out at night to eat plant foliage. The term ‘cutworm’ refers to many species in the Noctuidae, which is a large family of moths. Since there are so many different species of cutworms, there are also a variety of appearances that these creatures may have. The variability makes it difficult to say for certain if the caterpillar in the photo our reader sent is actually a cutworm or not, but we think there is a good chance.

To conclude, a reader sent us a photo of a brown caterpillar. We are not positive of the identification, but we think it is likely a cutworm.

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Dori Franklin
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Dori Franklin
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Earlier this week we received a photograph from one of our readers. No text accompanied the picture, so we will assume the reader is curious about what the specimen in the photo is.
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