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Isabella tiger moth (larva)

Pyrrharctia isabella


The larva is black at both ends, with or without a band of coppery red in the middle. The adult moth is dull yellow to orange with a robust, furry thorax and small head. Its wings have sparse black spotting and the proximal segments on its first pair of legs are bright reddish-orange. The setae of the Woolly Bear caterpillar do not inject venom and are not urticant – they do not typically cause irritation, injury, inflammation, or swelling. Handling them is discouraged, however, as the bristles may cause dermatitis in people with sensitive skin. Their main defense mechanism is rolling up into a ball if picked up or disturbed. (information from Wikipedia)


Suburban yard


Folk wisdom holds that the relative lengths of the bands of the caterpillar foretell the severity of the coming winter. Actually, the variability of the bands depends on many factors. As larvae mature, the reddish bands lengthen. Wetter weather lengthens the black bands. So while not a reliable measure, it makes some sense that onset of an early and thus longer winter will force younger and less red caterpillars into hibernation. (information from BugGuide)

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1 Comment

maplemoth662 4 months ago

A beautiful caterpillar....

Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA

Lat: 36.76, Long: -95.94

Spotted on Oct 20, 2014
Submitted on Dec 17, 2016

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