A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife
I spotted several of these caterpillars, which resemble undulating cheez doodles when they walk, but this was the only one that had already begun the process of overwintering. This species of caterpillar is highly variable in color, although each caterpillar has a consistent color. This one was an orange-yellow color. Their bodies are covered in long, soft setae. They are safe to handle, although it is discouraged because the setae can cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals, not to mention that it would also probably distress the caterpillar.
Spotted in a sheltered spot on the underside of a log.
In the fall, these caterpillars search for a sheltered location, such as under a log, where they can overwinter as a caterpillar. The caterpillars can survive being frozen solid because they produce a cryoprotectant substance, which protects their tissues from damage. In the spring, they will spin a cocoon using their setae, and then eventually will become a moth.
Spotted on Oct 4, 2017
Submitted on Oct 6, 2017