We’ve have found a couple of caterpillers and can’t seem to come up with ‘what they are’. Hoping you can help us out. The yellow and black ones were found on a really young birch (two feet… the birch not the caterpillers!) Now That would be amazing!! They seemed to be chomping happily away at the leaves, and would strike a tail up and curve it along their backside when alarmed, and would also exhibit this behaviour toward each other, but with more of a whipping action. This guys were about one inch in length and only a few milliimetres around. They seem to be hairless. … Both species were found Aug. 7th, 2008, in Spruce Grove, Alberta (just outside of Edmonton), and in sunny locations. We are wondering if we can relocate them on another more mature tree, if it is a native species, as they have set up house on newly planted trees and we don’t think the wee trees can support their eating habits! I’ve attached photos, and hopefully have included all important details, if not, just contact us! Happily birding,
Michelle & Curtis
Hi Michelle and Curtis,
The “caterpillars” you found on the birch are the Larvae of the Dusky Birch Sawfly, Croesus latitarsus. It is a common error to mistake Sawflies for Caterpillars. Sawflies are related to wasps.