Can you identify this beauty?
Location: Ontario, Canada
September 27, 2010 8:44 am
On a family trip to Killbear Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, my daughter discovered this unique caterpillar. Not sure if it helps but it was mid June when it was found. Any chance you know what it is?? Hoping to hear back as the curiosity is driving me crazy!
We spent considerable time browsing through the possibilities in the Moth superfamily Noctuoidea on BugGuide to no avail. We are going to request assistance from our readership with this identification.
Thank you for your help Daniel. Here is hoping someone can solve this mystery!
Update from Michelle
September 29, 2010
Unfortunately no one has posted a response, so I have been looking into the identification of the “Canadian caterpillar” in question on my own. After extensive research it appears that it is a gypsy moth larvae. I hear they are very destructive pests but they are truly beautiful in my opinion!
Thanks for getting back to us Michelle,
Now we feel really silly because we should have gotten this one right. Your caterpillar is a perfect visual match to a Gypsy Moth Caterpillar posted to BugGuide. Not only is the Gypsy Moth destructive, it is an Invasive Exotic species that was introduced from Europe. Here is the account of the Gypsy Moth introduction according to BugGuide: “Etienne Leopold Trouvelot, an amateur entomologist, brought Gypsy Moths into the United States to see if they could be successfully reared for silk culture. Around 1869 some of Trouvelot’s charges escaped from his home near Boston. Realizing the potential magnitude of the problem, he reported the escape but no action was taken until the infestation grew serious several years later. Trouvelot later became interested in astronomy and astronomical illustration, and eventually became a Harvard professor of Astronomy.“