Currently viewing the category: "Woolly Bears"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: HELP
Location: Oregon
July 26, 2014 10:48 am
We have a caterpillar that is going to turn into a cinnabar moth, we already know what bug it is but it just went into a cocoon (yay!). How long will it be in a cocoon?
Signature: Seriously bugged

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Dear Seriously bugged,
According to Bug Life:  “Caterpillars are feeding from July – early September and are initially pale yellow but soon develop bright yellow and black stripes to deter predators. … The caterpillars overwinter as pupa in a cocoon under the ground. The adult moths emerge around mid May and are on the wing up until early August, during which time males and females will mate and eggs are laid.”
  If that is accurate, you will not experience eclosion until next spring.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What type of caterpillar?
Location: Central Connecticut
July 18, 2014 5:00 pm
Wondering what type of caterpillar these are? Found on milkweed about 75 or so in a group. I’ve seen and photographed monarchs, but these little guys have hair. I didn’t see any eggs and don’t believe monarchs come out in large batches. I know there are limited caterpillars who eat milkweed. Photo taken July 18th in central Connecticut.
Signature: Thanks, Steve

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar Hatchlings

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar Hatchlings

Hi Steve,
You are correct that not many caterpillars feed on milkweed, and we had a hunch as to the identity of your caterpillars, but we wanted to find documentation to support our inkling.  Though it is a generalization, butterflies usually lay eggs singly while moths often lay eggs in large clusters.  We could telll that these were moth caterpillars, and we suspected them to be Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars,
Euchaetes egle, though we do not have any images of hatchlings in our own archive.  We found an image on BugGuide that matches your hatchling Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars.

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar on PC
Location: Atlanta, GA
July 10, 2014 1:01 pm
Thought you might enjoy this one. I was looking up a caterpillar on your site on while it crawled across my monitor.
Signature: Chris Davis

Tussock Caterpillar

Tussock Caterpillar

Dear Chris,
We are incredibly amused with your image of this Tussock Caterpillar crawling across our homepage.  We believe your individual is in the genus
Halysidota, and it might be a Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Halysidota tessellaris, based on its resemblance to this individual on BugGuide.

Tussock Caterpillar

Tussock Caterpillar

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar identification
Location: Athens, GA
July 3, 2014 6:12 pm
Caterpillars are difficult for me to identify, even with a key. This one was found in a wooded subdivision in Northeast, GA.. (Athens area) A river with creek tributaries is close by. They seem to be more numerous this year. My friends are asking me, but I am clueless. I have answered them, “moth”.
Signature: Another Ed in Athens

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Ed,
One of the best clues for identifying caterpillars is knowing the plant upon which it was feeding.  We believe this is a Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar or Pale Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota tessellaris, and you can compare your image to those posted on BugGuide

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big caterpillar – black with orange
Location: SW Austin TX
May 5, 2014 5:14 am
Found this big guy on our front porch in Austin. Fuzzy and almost 2″ in length. Thought he might be an asp but doesn’t match images I could find. I know you’ll know right away. Thank you!
Signature: Dana

Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar

Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar

Hi Dana,
This is definitely NOT and Asp.  This is a Woolly Bear, a caterpillar of a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae.  We believe it is the Caterpillar of a Giant Leopard Moth,
Hypercompe scribonia, and you can compare you individual to the images posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery caterpillar
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
April 6, 2014 8:54 pm
My friend found this fuzzy black caterpillar, took it inside and it formed a cocoon! I’m sorry but I can only show a picture of the cocoon, no caterpillar. What is it, a moth or butterfly? Thanks!
Signature: Tam

Possibly Arctiid Cocoon

Possibly Arctiid Cocoon

Dear Tam,
What we can tell you for certain is that this Cocoon will produce a moth, not a butterfly.  We suspect by your description of the caterpillar and by the appearance of this cocoon, that it might be a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, and the caterpillars of Tiger Moths are frequently called Woolly Bears.  We decided to research the possibilities for a species identification and we found the Moths of Alaska website which contains a photo of the Wood Tiger Moth,
Parasemia plantaginis, but no photo of the caterpillar, though it is noted that “They overwinter in the larval form.”  That would explain your finding the caterpillar in April.  The Wood Tiger Moth is found “throughout northern Europe, northern Asia, and western regions of North America” according to Moths of Alaska.   We did locate a photo of the caterpillar on the Habitas site.  We are not certain the Wood Tiger Moth will emerge from this cocoon, but that is a distinct possibility.  Please get back to us when the moth ecloses, and provide a photo if you are able.  We don’t get many identification requests from Alaska, so we like to give them extra attention when the opportunity presents itself.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination