Hemileuca nevadensis – Nevada Buck Moth Larvae?
Location: Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego County, CA, USA
June 19, 2011 11:58 pm
We found several of these caterpillars feeding on wild Willow trees (Salix lasiandra) along the San Diego river in Mission Trails Regional Park. The caterpillars are venomous and will give a painful red rash if handled. We have had these caterpillars for 2 weeks now at home, they seem to be slow growing and slow to progress to the different instars. I have provided them with fresh Salix every day to feed. I believe they may be some form of Buck Moth but have been unable to find the exact species. These seem to have a brighter color and more mottled (not speckled) coloring than the H. nevadensis but not sure?
Signature: Kind Regards, Christine
Thanks for your comments on our previous posting of this Buck Moth Caterpillar and also thank you for submitting your photos. Bill Oehlke has indicated that despite the color variation, they are Hemileuca nevadensis. Caterpillars frequently exhibit color variations.