Subject: Caterpillers – foe or friend
Location: Highland Park, ca (county of LA)
March 30, 2015 8:50 am
Hi. I have been finding lots of black furry caterpillers on the ground in Highland Park, CA. The largest that I have seen is about one and a quarter inches long. I think that they are falling from the eves from businesses on Figueroa (around the 7000 black). There is no real vegetation for them so hide out in so they just cling to the innermost edge of the street. I would like to ID them. And if they should be saved where do they need to be placed (food supply)
Your images are quite blurry, but there is little doubt in our mind that this is a Woolly Bear, most likely the caterpillars of the Painted Tiger Moth, Arachnis picta, because we have seen large numbers this year in nearby Mount Washington. They are general feeders that will eat a wide variety of plants commonly considered weeds.