Subject: Woolly Bear Caterpillar
Location: Corvallis, OR
October 14, 2013 5:29 pm
My three year old daughter and I have found two of these caterpillars. I believe that they are Isabella Tiger moth woolly bears. We have been feeding them plantain and dandylion greens and are concerned that we might not be providing the correct diet. They are eating the plantain leaves. I read that they eat Alder leaves- though there are no such trees in the immediate location in which we have found caterpillars. Do you have any suggestions? They will be over wintering on our patio in a screen topped jar.
Signature: Gwen’s Mommy
Dear Gwen’s Mommy,
You have correctly identified this Banded Woolly Bear as the caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger Moth. It sounds like you are providing the correct habitat for them. If they are eating plantain, you should be fine. According to BugGuide: “Larvae eats many plants and trees including grasses, asters, birches, clover, corn, elms, maples and sunflowers.” They will most likely pupate soon.
Thank you! We are looking forward to observing the process!