Subject: What is this?
Location: Torrance, California
July 5, 2017 3:10 pm
Hi, I stumbled across your site after trying to figure out what type of caterpillar this is. I think this is a wooly bear but it doesn’t look exact so maybe it’s in a younger stage ?? Please help, my son loves bugs so I’d like to know what it eats and this little guy almost got squashed by a car. I found him while taking a walk at work. It was on the concrete in the shade not moving at all. It was a warm day today too about 75 degrees out. I work in Torrance California.. He was about 3-4 feet away from the nearest shrub where there’s a big tree and grass so not sure if he maybe fell out of the tree or something. Hes moving around I put him in a container with some water sprinkled in it. Hope you can help, TIA.
This does look like the caterpillar of a Tiger Moth, and many are called Woolly Bears. Many are general feeders, including the Caterpillar of the Painted Tiger Moth, a common Southern California species.
Thank you for responding. I’ll do my research on how to make a comfy home for him/her.
Many Woolly Bears spend time in a dormant stage when food is scarce. According to BugGuide regarding the Painted Tiger Moth: “Adults fly June to October. In Arizona the larvae go into prepupal diapause during the dry season, from the end of the monsoons (September) until spring.” In our Los Angeles offices, we tend to find active Woolly Bears earlier in the spring, and then they hibernate. They do not form a cocoon until late summer.