Subject: Is this an American Daggar Moth Caterpillar?
Location: Cleveland, OH
August 8, 2014 5:28 pm
I have seen so many of these caterpillars this year in my backyard! I think this is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar, but why does it have these weird things on its back? All of these caterpillars are surrounding my pool and sometimes fall in.
In our opinion, this is a Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Halysidota harrisii, and it is host to the pupae of a parasitoid wasp, most likely a Braconid. Parasitoid Wasps are often very host specific, preying upon a single species or genus. Parasitoids feed on the internal organs of the host species, eventually killing the host. See this matching image on BugGuide and this matching image on BugGuide.