Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Granada hills
March 28, 2015 10:36 pm
Very fluffy, and about the length of my thumb ( 2 inches)
Signature: Any

Woolly Bears

Woolly Bears

Dear Any,
These are Woolly Bears, the caterpillars of Tiger Moths in the subfamily Arctiinae.  If Granada Hills is in California, the most likely candidates are Painted Tiger Moth Caterpillars,
Arachnis picta, which are pictured on the Victorian on the Move blog, but interestingly, not on BugGuide, except for newly hatched individuals.  Your individuals are getting ready to pupate based on the size you indicated.  We just encountered two in our own garden yesterday, and had we realized the dearth of images on the web, we would have pulled out the camera.

Location: Granada Hills, California

2 Responses to Woolly Bears

  1. Susan Hopkins says:

    What is the host plant for Woolly Bears?

    • bugman says:

      There are many species of Woolly Bears. These Painted Tiger Moth Caterpillars are not limited to a single food plant. According to BugGuide: “Larvae are generalists of low herbacious plants” including many species commonly considered weeds.

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