Spotted Apatelodes Caterpillar

mystery caterpillar
I spotted this caterpillar on the underside of a leaf in the woods in central Kentucky. It was about three inches long. You can see some stripes under all the “fur” if you look closely. If you can help me identify it, I would really appreciate it. I teach biology at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, KY. Thanks,
Catherine Underwood
Lexington, KY

Hi Catherine,
We are suckers when a querent pulls the teacher card on us. Your caterpillar superficially resembles the American Dagger Moth, Acronicta americana, which can be viewed on BugGuide. The true identity of your caterpillar is the larva of the Spotted Apatelodes, Apatelodes torrefacta, which can also be viewed on BugGuide.

2 thoughts on “Spotted Apatelodes Caterpillar”

  1. I do not have a Comment, I have a question.
    I have Caterpillar’s I have never seen before. I can not find it on the computer. I find some that looks some what like it but not the same. This does not mean it is not there. I can not find it. I am wanting to know what harm do they do? They look some what like this,–Spotted Apatelodes (Apatelodes torrefacta)
    18 Sep 2003, Kennesaw Mountain, Cobb County, GA
    But they are not! I do not know how to send you a picture?
    The bigger ones look like they have a reddish brown hair horns only on one end. The other is smaller, except the Hair Horn looking things are white or cool yellow. They usually look like they are carrying something on there backs. First time to see them. I live in Madison County, AL


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