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  • Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Moth - (Pyrrharctia isabella)

    Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Moth - (Pyrrharctia isabella)

    The incredibly bristly Banded Woollybear Caterpillar is somewhat slow-moving, giving observers plenty of time to look, but be sure not touch




    Staff Writer (10/20/2014): The Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Moth gets its descriptive name from the appearance of the caterpillar, not the adult moth. The moth has a mustard-yellow coloring on its forewings with a few black dots on each. The hindwings are pink with gray dots on them and are only visible when the wings are spread open and flat. They can be found in pastures, meadows, fields and at the sides of roads.

    Its famous caterpillar is black at both ends with a red band in at the waist. It is covered entirely in bristles. It used to be believed that the amount of black coloration forecasted how bitter the winter would be, but it is actually related to the caterpillar's maturity, not the weather. The hairy little caterpillar feeds on many kinds of low-growing plants, but is not a pest on the farm or in the garden. It is not uncommon to see them on sidewalks, curbs, roads and other people areas in the autumn.



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    Details of the:
    Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Moth


    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Moth
    Scientific Name: Pyrrharctia isabella
    Other Names: Isabella Tiger Moth

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Arctiidae
           Genus: Pyrrharctia
            Species: isabella

    Size (Adult, Length): 40mm to 50mm (1.57in to 1.97in)

    Identifying Colors: yellow, brown, black, pink, red

    Additional Descriptors: hairy, bristly, spiky, flying


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.