Subject: New Otleans caterpillar
Location: New Orleans
May 1, 2016 2:04 pm
We’re walking down a sidewalk in the Garden District of New Orleans and there are tons of these caterpillars falling out of a tree. One got on my friend’s sock and when she pulled it off, she got stung. Any clues what it is?
Thanks so much for resubmitting using our standard form. It really helps us to format postings correctly. This is a Buck Moth Caterpillar in the genus Hemileuca, and many caterpillars in the genus look similar. This is most likely Hemileuca maia, a species found in much of eastern North America. According to BugGuide: “Caution, caterpillars can inflict painful sting.” Since they were falling from the trees, they are most likely getting ready to pupate. Adult Buck Moths emerge and fly in the autumn.