Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 3:05 PM
Hello! Outside in our garden I found a caterpillar that looked like it was pretending to be a scorpion.
I have no idea what it is, I am from the UK so dont know much about american bugs.
This is a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the genus Orgyia, probably the White Marked Tussock Moth, Orgyia leucostigma, which BugGuide describes as: “Caterpillars are recognized by the bright red head and broad black stripe along the back flanked by a yellow stripe each side. Two red glands on sixth and seventh abdominal segments, and four tufts of hairs (which may be white, gray or yellowish) on the first four abdominal segments are common to several members of the genus.
CAUTION: Contact with hairs may cause an allergic reaction.
Adult females, which are pale grey, are wingless and therefore flightless. ” We are amused that you described this caterpillar as looking like a scorpion, because you have a species in the UK, Stauropus fagi, the Lobster Moth Caterpillar, which really, really looks like a scorpion. We posted a photo of the Lobster Moth Caterpillar in September 2005 from England and more in August 2007 from Japan.