Banded Wooly Bear
Hello Daniel,
I took a picture of this fellow on my lawn. Looked it up in my National Audubon Society “Field Guide to Insects & Spiders”. I actually don’t have much luck identifying bugs from this book… but occasionally I get lucky. In its description it stated… “According to superstition, the amount of black in the caterpillar’s bristle coating forecasts the severity of the coming winter. Actually, the coloration indicates how near the caterpillar is to full growth before autumn weather stimulates it to seek a winter shelter.” It doesn’t really explain how it overwinters, or where. Do they burrow underground? Cocoon themselves up?
Barrie ,

Hi Yvonne,
The Banded Woolly Bear is the caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger Moth. The caterpillar sheds its hairs forms a cocoon from the hairs. It pupates inside the hair shell.

4 Responses to Isabella Tiger Moth Caterpillar

  1. boilerbabe says:

    That is an exceptionally good pic of the wooly bear. I just saw one by my transformer at work and was wondering what they do for hibernation, so this answers my question! I also always thought they turned into Monarchs, but now I know otherwise…

  2. Vicki says:

    Wow its November 4th and I found one on my lawnmower wow its November and no snow caterpillars and ladybugs all over

  3. Vespidae says:

    Do wooly bears that look like this have stinging hairs like other fuzzy/furry caterpillars do?

    • bugman says:

      We know of no reactions to hairs of woolly bear caterpillars, but we suppose it is always possible that some person might have an allergic reaction to anything.

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