Unknown Yellow and Black Caterpillar
June 19, 2010
I took pictures of this in July 2009 behind my apartments at the powerlines. I am rather new to macro photography and find bugs a interesting subject.
I have been unable to identify this one. He has sparse hair as you can see in 3rd picture and is a yellow/orange and black stripped.
There was literally thousands of them among the plants of various types.
These are Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars, Tyria jacobaeae, a European species that according to BugGuide was: “Introduced from Europe as a control for introduced weedy Ragwort, the host plant for its caterpillars, which is toxic to livestock.” BugGuide also indicates: “Larvae feed on Senecio jacobaea. HOSTS database also lists Salt-marsh Fleabane (Pluchea odorata), Hound’s-tongue (Cynoglossum officinale), Hops (Humulus lupulus) and Sow Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus).“
The Weed Species website pictures Tansy Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea, and it looks like the plant your caterpillar specimens are feeding upon.
Thank you so much for the reply, I really do appreciate the in-depth answer. It never ceases to amaze me all of the non native species that were introduced to control one problem or another.