Location: NW Montana, USA, daytime sighting
August 1, 2011 5:16 pm
Hi there! Love your website, and browse it often. I take tons of photos, and love when they include insects of all kinds. Found this caterpillar…who unfortunately would NOT sit still…and as always, set about trying to identify it! Not having much luck, so hoped you could give me a hand! Many thanks!
This is the caterpillar of one of the Buck Moths in the genus Hemileuca, and in our opinion, it is the caterpillar of the Elegant Sheep Moth, Hemileuca eglanterina, which you may verify by comparing your individual to this image on BugGuide. The adult is a highly variable diurnal moth, and you may view a photo of a mating pair from our archives. According to BugGuide, it is: “Widely distributed in western North America: Rocky Mountains west to Pacific, from Southern California to southern Canada. In California found west of the crest of the Sierras, absent from San Joaquin Valley except for Sacramento Delta, found in southern California only in the mountains.”