Project Noah

Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

Join Project Noah Today

Banded Woolly Bear

Pyrrharctia isabella


Family: Erebidae, Subfamily: Arctiinae, Tribe Arctiini. (Tiger Moths) Larva of the Isabella Tiger Moth. Size: 1.25 inches. Black at both ends with cooper red in the middle and very hairy. Feeds on many different plants including aster, birch, elm, maple and sunflower.


This one was found in a wooded area near a lake, but can be found in gardens, meadows, woodlands. (Beltzville State Park, PA) Range: Mostly Eastern USA and Canada, but also the Arctic.


Video of caterpillar making complete turn included. (So exciting!) I wasn't even going to bother with a photo as I see these all the time. But this one was extra pretty and starting to move. (Does not usually cause reaction or harm if touched)

No species ID suggestions


Liti a year ago

wow! great photo!!

Congratulations Carol on SOTD!

DanielePralong a year ago

Congratulations Carol, your Banded Woolly Bear has been chosen to illustrate today's fact for National Moth Week:

National Moth Week 2017 continues! Thanks to all of you who continue to submit moths spottings. In honor of this year’s focus on tiger moths, Project Noah ranger, National Moth Week organizer and Cornell University entomology student Jacob Gorneau is bringing us daily interesting facts about tiger moths (Erebidae: Arctiinae):
"The Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) is a tiger moth very common in North America. Subjected to a temperate climate, the caterpillars, known as banded woolly bears, overwinter as caterpillars before turning into a pupa in the spring, the stage of development right before coming a moths. Since the caterpillars are exposed to relatively harsh temperatures in the winter, this species has become somewhat tolerant to short-term freezing periods in which the entire caterpillar is frozen and it thaws out. Longer-term freezing periods however can be harmful.
This moth is also the subject of some folklore in which it is said that the amount of the brown on the band determines the length of the forthcoming winter. This however, is just folklore and not scientifically based".
Banded Woolly Bear (Pyrrharctia isabella) spotted in Pennsylvania, USA, by Carol Snow Milne
National Moth Week is from July 22-30. Are you participating? Please register a public or private event here:, especially if your country or region isn't on the map yet!
Don't forget to submit photos of moths you spot here!



Ava T-B
Ava T-B 5 years ago

Fancy footwork and a complete U-turn -- great video.

Loved loved loved the video

Holding on for dear life. Thanks for the pic; I'll never see them the same way again.

YukoChartraw 6 years ago

Awww look at those cute little hands <3

SeemaApril 6 years ago

Awesome video and nice pics!

YukoChartraw 6 years ago

This is sooo cute!

Ismael Chaves
Ismael Chaves 6 years ago

Superb photos Carol

Pennsylvania, USA

Lat: 40.87, Long: -75.61

Spotted on Sep 21, 2012
Submitted on Sep 21, 2012

Related spottings

Woolly Bear Caterpillar Isabella Tiger Moth Banded Woolly Bear Woolly bear

Nearby spottings

Unknown Caterpillar Syrphid Fly Carolina Wolf Spider European Earwig (female)