Currently viewing the category: "Woolly Bears"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

caterpillar
hello,
i found this caterpillar outside my house in L.A., and i was wondering what kind of caterpillar it is and if it’s poisonous. thanks.
Stephanie

Hi Stephanie,
Your caterpillar is a Wooly Bear, the larval form of Tiger Moths from the family Arctiidae. Many Wooly Bears are similarly colored. Based on your location, a good bet is the Painted Arachnis, Arachnis picta, a very pretty moth common in Los Angeles. We have photos of the adults on our moth page. The Wooly Bear eats a wide variety of weedy plants including wild radish. It is not poisonous

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Do you have an id for this one?
Hi,
Checked through your website with great interest, but didn’t find my caterpillar there. This guy lived on a yellow blossom lupin branch this last Spring in Bodega Head (northern California above San Francisco). I’ve been unable to identify the pretty thing. Got any ideas? Sure would appreciate your help.
Thanks, Alice Steele (San Francisco)

Hi Alice,
The best we can do is tell you it is a Wooly Bear caterpillar, the larva of a Tiger Moth. Sorry it is so general.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

black bristly caterpillar
Photo attached. This was found in Austin, Texas, walking near the handle of our patio door. He is predominantly black, bristly, with a brownish red head and three orange/red bands around the back end. Since he is lifting his front end, there may be more red bands, hard to tell. In terms of scale, this fellow is +/- 1.5 inches long. The hole in the picture is ~1/8th inch in diameter. THe nearby environment is a large flower garden filled with butterfly and hummingbird attracting plants (designed that way). Common medium-large butterflies in the garden recently include:
* various swallowtails (giant, pipevine, tiger)
* gulf fritillary
* hackberry spp.
* red admirals (not all that often)
* hummingbird clearwing moth
I’m familiar with these caterpillars, and this ain’t one of ’em. We also have commas/question marks. Is this one of them? We have many smaller butterflies (e.g. texas crescent, common hairstreak, fiery skipper) but I figure this guy isn’t a candidate for them, since he’s good sized. Hard to find a good site of caterpillar pictures.
THanks,
Jim

Hi Jim,
The caterpillar of Ecpantheria deflorata, the Eyed Tiger Moth, “is a deep black, clothed with black hairs, and at the junction of the somites, or segments of the body, it is banded with rings of crimson” according to Holland. Sounds like your caterpillar. The moth is found in your area and the caterpillar, one of the wooley bears, feeds on plantain, pr Plantago. We have a photo of the adult moth on our homepage right now. Here is a nice caterpillar identification site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

My 8 yr old Daughter has been collecting different bugs, and such since we moved to Sierra Vista, AZ. Her latest are in the attached photos. both fuzzy, and two are blackish brown while the other one is orange-yellow.
THank You, RC

Dear RC,
The brown caterpillars are a type of wooly-bear, the larvae of a group of moths known as Tiger Moths,
Family Arctiidae. The exact species is difficult to determine, but it could be a Vestal Tiger Moth,
Maenas vestalis, the moth of which is white with conspicuous red forelegs, a Painted Arachnis,
Arachnis picta, the moth of which is beautifully marked with grey on white forewings and red
hindwings, or it could be another Tiger Moth. The yellow caterpillar is also a wooly-bear, perhaps Spilosoma virginica. Both are general feeders and shouldn’t be too hard to keep alive until they pupate, which they will do inside of a cocoon composed of their own hair. The best way to determine the species of the caterpillar is seeing what the adult moth that emerges looks like.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination