Woolly Bears: Arctiidae Caterpillars

Woolly Bear Caterpillar: Pyrrharctia isabella

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke at oehlkew@islandtelecom.com
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.

Woolly bear or fuzzy bear caterpillars are often found crawling across roads or sidewalks in the fall after they have left their foodplants in search of a dark and sheltered spot where they can hibernate for the winter. With springtime warmth, the caterpillars again become active, feeding for a brief time and then fashioning cocoons out of silk and body hairs. Tiger moths usually emerge from cocoons two to three weeks later.

Larvae of some Arctiidae species spin cocoons in the fall.

Woolly bear or fuzzy bear caterpillars come in a variety of colours and patterns, many of them quite striking!

Click on the picture or hypertext (underlined blue or purple print) below to access information about and images of various Tiger Moths (Arctiidae) and caterpillars:

ARCTIIDAE (TIGER MOTH) INDEX:


Yellow Bear
Spilosama virginica

eastern 3/4 U.S & Can..............

Woolly Bear
Pyrrharctia isabella

entire U.S., Can., Mexico.......

Giant Leopard Moth
Ecpantheria scribonia

eastern 1/2 U.S. & Can.


Pale Tussock Moth
Halysidota tessellaris

eastern 1/2 U.S., Can. & Mex...

Hickory Tussock Moth
Lophocampa caryae

Mex., Sw. U.S. to Se. Can...

Spotted tussock Moth
Lophocampa maculata

E. 2/3 Can. U.S. border

Larval images are from Caterpillars of Eastern Forests courtesy of David Wagner.

If this info has been helpful, please click on the flashing butterfly to express appreciation and to visit other related sites.

or go to Introduction to WORLD'S LARGEST SATURNIIDAE SITE and click on flashing butterfly there. This site features spectacular photography with the most extensive set of Saturniidae files found anywhere on the internet.

Visit other websites maintained by Bill Oehlke:

AFRICAN SATURNIIDAE (SILKMOTHS)
ASIAN SATURNIIDAE
AUSTRALIAN SATURNIIDAE
CERATOCAMPINAE
EUROPEAN SATURNIIDAE
MEXICAN SATURNIIDAE
NORTH AMERICAN SATURNIIDAE
SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICAN SATURNIIDAE
SATURNIIDAE OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND :rearing info.
SPHINGIDAE OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
BUTTERFLIES OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Have a nice day!

Go to Caterpillar Identification