Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Subject: Caterpillar crawling on playground
Location: Viroqua, WI 54765
September 10, 2015 7:05 am
On Sept. 8, 2015 I encountered this fuzzy caterpillar crawling on the children’s playground equipment. Location was the City Park, Viroqua WI 54665. The pic was taken at approx. 5:30 pm. Please help me identify it. Also, can it sting children who may find it while playing?
Signature: Angela Karwoski

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Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can.

Thank you!  I appreciate your efforts regardless if you are able to identify my submission.  I have referred to your site several times to find out various information.
I submitted this time due to my concern for the kids who play on that playground equipment so frequently.
I think it’s time I make a donation thinking back to how many times I have found it a very valuable resource.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge, it’s very much appreciated.

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Angela,
Thanks so much for your kind words.  We are nearly certain this is a Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota tessellaris, based on its resemblance to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on alder, ash, birch, elm, hazel, hickory, oak, poplar, tulip tree, walnut, willow.”  There is no mention of utricating hairs.

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