Elegant Sheep Moth Caterpillar

Location: NW Montana, USA, daytime sighting
August 1, 2011 5:16 pm
Hi there! Love your website, and browse it often. I take tons of photos, and love when they include insects of all kinds. Found this caterpillar…who unfortunately would NOT sit still…and as always, set about trying to identify it! Not having much luck, so hoped you could give me a hand! Many thanks!
Signature: veggietoo

Elegant Sheep Moth Caterpillar

Dear veggietoo,
This is the caterpillar of one of the Buck Moths in the genus
Hemileuca, and in our opinion, it is the caterpillar of the Elegant Sheep Moth, Hemileuca eglanterina, which you may verify by comparing your individual to this image on BugGuide.  The adult is a highly variable diurnal moth, and you may view a photo of a mating pair from our archives.  According to BugGuide, it is:  “Widely distributed in western North America: Rocky Mountains west to Pacific, from Southern California to southern Canada. In California found west of the crest of the Sierras, absent from San Joaquin Valley except for Sacramento Delta, found in southern California only in the mountains.”

2 thoughts on “Elegant Sheep Moth Caterpillar”

  1. A friend of mine actually got “stung” by one yesterday. Imediately swelled up and stung very bad. Do you know of other people who have been stung by it?


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