Hays County, Texas 11/8/2003
This scene caught my attention, because the caterpillar appeared to be trying to attack the grasshopper, but apparently it was already dead. A small red and black insect landed, and was quickly grabbed in the fore-legs of the caterpillar, and devoured hastily. Is this a carnivorous species of Lepidopteran, opportunistic, or merely desperate. This took place on a twig from the top of a fence post.
caterpillar eating red and black insect
dorsal view of caterpillar
UPDATE - this information from Dale Schweitzer

I think it is a Heliothine Noctuid perhaps even Helicoverpa zeae. Predatory behavior is facultative in many Noctuidae but by no means all.

It does appear to be Helicoverpa zea (Boddie, 1850) or Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner, 1808), both major crop pests, also known as Corn Ear Worm, Tomato Grub, Tobacco Budworm, and Cotton Bollworm. Larva are extremely variable.


Very Interesting!

images copyright Bob Barber