Syntomeida epilais – Oleander Caterpillar

So I am out walking around in the garden and I notice this! 

Yipes, what is happening to my Adenium?

Well – It is being eaten up by this little beauty!

Syntomeida epilais 

The oleander caterpillar is a native of the Caribbean region, and although the caterpillar itself is not poisonous, because of what it eats you should definitely avoid touching it.  The sap of the oleander has a toxin that can cause you to break out, and possibly have respiratory distress.


 this little beauty is what the caterpillar turns into.  Gorgeous, eh?  
The Polka Dot Wasp Moth

And yes Jonna – I am going to have to kill these guys, they are killing my plant.  See ya later alligator!

About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends.
This entry was posted in garden pests, oleander caterpillar, Syntomeida epilais. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Syntomeida epilais – Oleander Caterpillar

  1. Joanne says:

    We ended up tearing out all our oleanders. Those bugs ate everything and the plants were ugly and there was too many caterpillars to try to get rid of. Plus I hated the oleanders and didn't need much of an excuse to pull them all out. If you spray with Raid the caterpillars will curl up and fall off.

  2. Steve Cotton says:

    Nature often needs a little gardening hand on its evolutionary journey.

  3. I have to say I think the adult caterpillar is more striking than the moth, with all those feathery legs!
    It's too bad that we have to choose only certain plants for our gardens unless we use pesticides. There's a saying in organic gardening that you plant extra plants (vegetables, etc.) so that the insects have food as well. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that they save anything for the benevolent gardeners.

  4. Marc Olson says:

    They also love mandevilla. If I don't stick a broom handle into the plant and shake them out daily, they pretty much devastate the plant. In a week or two there are hundreds of tiny caterpillars, if I don't patrol all the time. I am curious to know if there is any natural or non-pesticide method of keeping them away. If not, I may have to take out the plant.

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