Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar
June 4, 2010
It’s been raining all morning and there was finally a break so I step out on the porch only to see this fuzzy little guy. It looks like he’s having a bad hair day (it must be the humidity) with all the gunk stuck on him. I tried to find him on your site but could not. However, after looking at bugguide (http://bugguide.net/node/view/43315) I think he is a silver-spotted tiger moth caterpillar. I live on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon surrounded by forests with lots of Douglas Firs so I am sure he is well fed. I notice bugguide says not to touch them due to venomous hairs…I wish I would have known that before but I think I will survive! I believe I have him IDed but wanted to share him with you.
Amy
Portland, Oregon, USA

Silver Spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Hi Amy,
Thanks for sending us a photo of what we agree is probably a Silver Spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar, Lophocampa argentata.

25 Responses to Silver Spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar

  1. daniel white says:

    im 13 and i study bugs and i noticed this site when i was looking for more info however that is not a silver spotted tiger moth cause 1 off it is no venomous 2 off it has no read but it could be a relative of one

    -Daniel

    • bugman says:

      We maintain that the image of the caterpillar of a Silver Spotted Tiger Moth, Lophocampa argentata, that is posted to BugGuide matches the individual pictured in this posting. BugGuide also states: “Note of Caution: Like several kinds of wooly-bear-type caterpillars, these have venomous, stinging hairs, which can cause a burning sensation and/or a rash in sensitive people- look, but don’t touch!”

  2. daniel white says:

    im 13 and i study bugs and i noticed this site when i was looking for more info however that is not a silver spotted tiger moth cause 1 off it is no venomous 2 off it has no read but it could be a relative of one

    -Daniel

  3. bugaboo says:

    i have studyed these guys for almost a month now.And have held multiple specimons and they are
    most certainly not poisounis

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for providing your personal observations and experience.

    • Jessica pannell says:

      One crawled on me today and it has felt like glass under me skin for hours

    • Roxanne says:

      I agree with u I have raised 1 before and 3 right now 4 in total and not once have I had issues like poison if they were they would attack us with those hairs right away as soon as they crawl on our finger they are not poisonous or I’d be dead right now from touching 4 or more of them

  4. bugaboo says:

    i have studyed these guys for almost a month now.And have held multiple specimons and they are
    most certainly not poisounis

  5. Safire says:

    does anyone know what the moths eat? I, like Daniel, am a teen who likes to raise them. I don’t know if they are like some other species of moths, and don’t eat anything, or if they actually have a food source.

    ~safire

  6. Safire says:

    does anyone know what the moths eat? I, like Daniel, am a teen who likes to raise them. I don’t know if they are like some other species of moths, and don’t eat anything, or if they actually have a food source.

    ~safire

  7. catch-a-moth says:

    They are poisonous, but it only effects sensitive people. I too have been handling them all my life, and have not been effected in any way. That doesn’t mean the experts are wrong. It simply means that I am not sensitive to the hairs.

    I had two of my cocoons hatch, and I am happy to say that I now have two dozen eggs.

  8. catch-a-moth says:

    They are poisonous, but it only effects sensitive people. I too have been handling them all my life, and have not been effected in any way. That doesn’t mean the experts are wrong. It simply means that I am not sensitive to the hairs.

    I had two of my cocoons hatch, and I am happy to say that I now have two dozen eggs.

  9. Jenni says:

    I happened to find a silver spotted tiger moths caterpillar a month and a half ago and within 12 hours of having it, it started pupation. Does anyone know how long it usually takes before it emerges as a moth? I’m worried that the little guy didn’t make it.

    • bugman says:

      Have patience and let nature take its course. It will emerge when weather conditions are ideal.

      • Jenni says:

        With it becoming cold then it could possibly take until spring time? I have it in a jar in my room. My kids keep asking me when it will hatch out of its cocoon lol. I know that its common for caterpillars to not survive pupation. Hopefully all is going well for my little caterpillar!

  10. adie miller says:

    What do they eat?

    • bugman says:

      According to BugGuide, caterpillars feed on “Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesi) but not uncommon on other conifers. There are also a few reports of them eating a wide variety of other plants.”

  11. Roxanne says:

    I don’t beleave ppl who say it’s poisonous I have raised 4 or more and had them crawl on my hand and not once felt what ppl say u feel and I never got a rash and I’m one person who has sensitive skin and I would be dead by now with how much I hold them each day so I don’t beleave a word some of u say

  12. MartyGiles says:

    I’ve been collecting these caterpillars for a week or two, feeding them to see what the cocoons will look like. (I had no reaction to gently scooping them up in my hand.)
    Yesterday I finally found a cocoon in their container–with an obliging caterpillar modeling adjacent to the cocoon.
    Coos Bay, Oregon, USA
    (I’d post a photo if I could remember how to do that… Guidance?)

  13. MartyGiles says:

    I’ve been collecting these caterpillars for a week or two, feeding them to see what the cocoons will look like. (I had no reaction to gently scooping them up in my hand.)
    Yesterday I finally found a cocoon in their container–with an obliging caterpillar modeling adjacent to the cocoon.
    Coos Bay, Oregon, USA
    (I’d post a photo if I could remember how to do that… Guidance?)

  14. Tacocat99999 says:

    I have held many of them no rash or anything like that. from my research from other sources the “venom” or hairs only hurt those with sensitive skin.

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