17 Furry Caterpillar Types: An Identification Guide

Updated on September 28, 2018
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I am a writer, teacher, and parent. I have degrees in American history and human development, but insects are my true passion!

Furry Caterpillar Types and Identification Guide
Furry Caterpillar Types and Identification Guide

Caterpillars are the immature stage of butterflies and moths. Most furry caterpillars eat leaves (though a few eat clothes), and almost all of them will eventually become moths. Many hairy caterpillars can sting or cause allergic reactions upon contact, so take care when handling any fuzzy caterpillars (no matter how harmless and cute they might seem!).

During the warm months, it's not uncommon to find caterpillars crawling on the ground or hanging out on trees or bushes. This guide will help you identify 16 furry caterpillars that reside in North America (and a bonus cat from the British Isles) and give you tips on how to raise them.

Note: The sizes and descriptions in this article refer to mature larvae. Caterpillars are extremely variable in appearance; they molt up to five times before pupation and look different at each stage (or instar).

Woolly Bear Caterpillar
Woolly Bear Caterpillar | Source
Woolly Bear Moth
Woolly Bear Moth | Source

1. Banded Woolly Bear (Pyrrharctia isabella)

Size: 5.7 cm

Hosts: herbs, birches, clover, corn, dandelions, elms, maples, grass, sunflowers, and many more

Range: throughout the USA and southern Canada

Identifying Features:

  • 13 segments
  • short bristles in a black-orange-black pattern

Also known as the woolly worm or the Isabella tiger moth, this little guy is one of the most common furry caterpillars and the easiest to find. They have 13 segments and are rusty orange in the middle and black on the ends. These caterpillars sometimes venture out of the bushes to make cocoons (which include the stiff bristles from their bodies!), and you might spot them crossing the road when driving.

Note: Take care when handling these caterpillars. While they may look soft, their "fur" is actually made of stiff bristles that can result in a hand full of little slivers (akin to those from fiberglass insulation) upon handling. While some people report no issues touching these cats and their cocoons, it's better to be safe than sorry!

Raising a Woolly Bear Caterpillar

These caterpillars are not very easy to raise. They often overwinter as larvae, which makes them vulnerable to getting squashed or hurt.

If you want to give it a shot, you must create a comfortable living container for your woolly bear. This can be anything from the bottom of a liter soda bottle to a large Tupperware. Line the bottom with soil and grass, and add a few leaves for food and sticks to crawl on. (Ideally, all of these should come from where you found the woolly bBear). Cover the container, but make sure to poke a few holes in whatever lid you choose. Then place the container outside.

Note: Don't worry about putting it somewhere warm in winter—banded woolly bears hibernate (and freeze almost solid!) when temps drop, then "thaw" out again when spring arrives. You don't need to feed them during this time.

Fun Fact

Farmers used to think the amount of orange on the caterpillar predicted the length of the coming winter. Legend has it that a wide band indicated a mild winter, whereas a narrow band predicted a harsh one.

Yellow Woolly Bear
Yellow Woolly Bear | Source
Another Yellow Woolly Bear
Another Yellow Woolly Bear | Source
Yellow Woolly Bear Moth
Yellow Woolly Bear Moth | Source

2. Yellow Woolly Bear (Spilosoma virginica)

Size: 5 cm

Hosts: many garden plants, field crops, and weeds, as well as vegetables such as asparagus, carrot, eggplant, pea, sweet potato, and more

Range: throughout North America, but most predominant on the East Coast

Identifying Features:

  • short bristles similar to those of the banded woolly bear
  • a range of colors, anywhere from solid beige or rust to a striking black-yellow-black pattern with long white hair pencils

The yellow woolly bear is the most common caterpillar in North America. These furry little guys eat all kinds of plants and weeds, which means that they can be found almost anywhere. The name “yellow woolly bear” is a little misleading, however, because they can be any color from almost white to dark orange.

Raising a Yellow Woolybear Caterpillar

The good thing about these insects is that they're really easy to raise to an adult. They'll spin a cocoon among the leaves of their food plant or among leaves on the ground. The yellow woolly bear moth is very beautiful. It has pure white wings with tiny black spots, and orange-black spots along the sides of its furry, white body.

Salt Marsh Caterpillar
Salt Marsh Caterpillar | Source
Salt Marsh Moth
Salt Marsh Moth | Source

3. Salt Marsh Caterpillar (Estigmene acrea)

Size: 5.5 cm

Hosts: a variety of vegetable and field crops, as well as weeds. Preferred vegetables and field crops include bean, cabbage, corn, tomato, alfalfa, cotton, soybean, tobacco, and others

Range: throughout the USA, with some specimens in Central America and Canada

Identifying Features:

  • short–medium bristles
  • dark coloration, anywhere from deep rust to charcoal gray
  • tiny black spots between each segment's bristles

This caterpillar looks a lot like the yellow woolly bear, but you can tell them apart because these caterpillars have black spots all along the sides of their bodies, and they're usually a darker orange-red than yellow woolly bears.

Note: Some people are sensitive to the fur of these caterpillars. If you handle them a lot, you may get an itchy rash. It's never serious, though, so don't worry too much.

Raising a Salt Marsh Caterpillar

These caterpillars are really easy to raise to adults. They eat a lot of different leaves (but be sure you always give them leaves from the same plant you found them on!). If you give them the right leaves, they'll eat for a while and spin an orange cocoon. The adult moth that hatches out is really beautiful, with pale orange and white wings.

Sycamore Tussock Caterpillar
Sycamore Tussock Caterpillar | Source
Halysidota harrisii Moth
Halysidota harrisii Moth | Source

4. Sycamore Tussock (Halysidota harrisii)

Size: 3 cm

Hosts: sycamore leaves

Range: southeastern Canada, the Eastern United States (except Florida), and northeastern Mexico

Identifying Features:

  • light yellow-white bristles along the whole body
  • longer setae near the feet
  • two pairs each of white and orange hair pencils near the head
  • one pair of white hair pencils near the rear

This furry caterpillar is most commonly found crawling up and down tree trunks. The sycamore tussock is a yellowish-white caterpillar with long "hair pencils" on the ends of their bodies—two pairs of white and two pairs of orange near the head, and one pair of white toward the rear. If you find one crawling on a tree trunk, it's probably looking for a place to make a cocoon.

Raising a Sycamore Tussock Caterpillar

If you put one of these caterpillars in a Tupperware bin with a folded paper towel, it will likely make a cocoon.

American Dagger Moth Caterpillar
American Dagger Moth Caterpillar | Source
American Dagger Moth
American Dagger Moth | Source

5. American Dagger (Acronicta americana)

Size: 5 cm

Hosts: a variety of trees, such as alder, ash, birch, elm, hickory, maple, oak, poplar, walnut, and willow

Range: eastern North America

Identifying Features:

  • "fluffy" whitish-yellow hair
  • five long black hair pencils along the body (two pairs near the head and a single hair pencil near the rear)
  • shiny black head

If you find a furry caterpillar that's white with skinny black horns (or hair pencils) on the ends, then you've found an American dagger caterpillar. They eat oak and maple, and when they're ready to spin a cocoon, they usually walk down the trunk of whatever tree or bush they are residing in.

Raising an American Dagger Caterpillar

You will most likely find this caterpillar on the trunk of a tree. You can keep this caterpillar and it will spin a cocoon. The moth is a pretty, grey creature with pale and dark markings.

Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar | Source
Hickory Tussock Moth
Hickory Tussock Moth | Source

6. Hickory Tussock (Lophocampa caryae)

Size: 4.5 cm

Hosts: various trees, including ashes, elms, hickories, maples, and oaks

Range: From Nova Scotia to North Carolina, north to Ontario, and west to Wisconsin, and Texas. Predominantly absent from the Midwest.

Identifying Features:

  • long, fluffy white setae along the sides, front, and rear
  • four long black hair pencils (one pair on each end)
  • white back with black pattern ("diamonds" made of short black setae interspersed with black ovals)

These caterpillars are very commonly found late in the summer, when you might find them crawling around your porch or garage. The moth these little black-and-white cats become has beautiful wings with brown, cream, and yellow spots.

Note: However cute these little guys might look, their hairs (setae) are barbed and venomous, so avoid touching them with your bare hands. While coming into contact with their setae won't kill you, it can cause a serious rash and allergic reaction.

Raising a Hickory Tussock Caterpillar

You can raise these caterpillars into moths without too much trouble. Just remember not to touch them with your bare hands.

Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar
Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar | Source
Giant Leopard Caterpillar When Threatened
Giant Leopard Caterpillar When Threatened | Source
Giant Leopard Moth
Giant Leopard Moth | Source

7. Giant Leopard (Hypercompe scribonia)

Size: 5 cm

Hosts: broad-leafed plants, such as violet, honeysuckle, magnolia, lilac, and dandelion

Range: common throughout the eastern and southern USA, and from New England stretching down to northernmost Mexico

Identifying Features:

  • thick black setae ringing each segment
  • red bands between each segment

When disturbed, this species rolls into a ball and makes its sharp spines protrude from its body.

Note: Some caterpillars aren't actually "furry," like this one. What looks like thick black fur is actually a dense coat of sharp spines that can deal a painful poke if you squeeze the caterpillar too tightly. So take care to be extra gentle when handling these cats.

Raising a Giant Leopard Caterpillar

Like the woolly bear, these caterpillars overwinter as larvae, so they're hard to raise into adults. It's a shame because the adult giant leopard moth is one of the most beautiful moths in North America.

Io Caterpillar
Io Caterpillar | Source
Female (Upper) and Male (Lower) Io Moths
Female (Upper) and Male (Lower) Io Moths | Source

8. Io Caterpillar (Automeris io)

Size: 6 cm

Hosts: various trees and plants including hackberry, mesquite, currant, blackberry, pear, maple, alder, poplar, willow, and wisteria

Range: From Maine west across southern Canada to southeastern Manitoba, and as far southeast as Colorado. South to Florida and the Gulf states, as well as Texas and New Mexico. Some specimens found in Mexico.

Identifying Features:

  • bright green body and setae (some of which have black tips)
  • red-bordered white line along the sides of the body (top red border is much thicker than bottom)
  • patches of white-speckled red between each set of legs

The Io caterpillar grows up to be a very beautiful moth, with huge eyespot markings on the hind wings that it flashes to scare away birds and other predators. If you find one, consider yourself lucky, but don't pick it up with bare hands!

Note: Be careful when looking for the Io caterpillar. This insect is poisonous! A prick from one of its venomous spines feels like a bee sting. While being pricked is not life-threatening, it can really hurt.

Raising Io Caterpillars

You'll need a box of latex or non-latex gloves to raise these guys. Be sure never to touch them without gloves on (even their empty cocoons) and make sure to raise them in a contained area where they won't escape and "sting" anyone. Apart from that, raising these cats isn't very hard, and the moths they become are absolutely stunning.

Do stinging caterpillars become stinging moths?

No. While moths do not have stinging spines, the inhalation of their "scales" or contact with their fluids can cause a serious (and potentially fatal) disease called Lepidopterism. Symptoms often mimic those of a fever.

Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillar
Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillar | Source
Milkweed Tiger Moth
Milkweed Tiger Moth | Source

9. Milkweed Tiger (Euchaetes egle)

Size: 3.5 cm

Hosts: milkweed

Range: from southern Canada south through Texas and Florida

Identifying Features:

  • sprouts of setae in rows along the body (a single row of black sprouts along the sides, front, and rear; several pairs of white sprouts, which are generally longer, on the sides and top; many pairs of orange sprouts, sometimes alternating light and dark, along the top of the back)

Also known as the milkweed tussock moth, this cool-looking caterpillar is one of the few larvae that feed exclusively on milkweed. The plant protects itself from most attackers by having poisonous, milky sap. Most insects can't digest this strong sap, but a few can, including this one and the world-famous monarch butterfly, which feeds on milkweed and nothing else. This striking caterpillar lives in groups on milkweed plants and drops to the ground when it feels threatened.

Why Do They Eat Milkweed?

This unique diet makes these caterpillars (and the winged creatures they later become) poisonous to would-be predators, but while their colorful fur makes them easily recognizable as toxic during their larval stages, what happens when they become moths?

Unlike monarch caterpillars, which retain their striking coloring as butterflies, the milkweed tiger caterpillar becomes a very plain, brown moth. Their main predators are bats, so these cats' coloring has no effect, but the milkweed tiger moth has come up with a brilliant solution. They've evolved an organ that emits an ultrasonic signal warning bats that any attempt to make them into a meal will result in a nasty, toxic meal. Not too shabby!

Raising Milkweed Tiger Caterpillars

As long as you provide a shelter with reasonably similar conditions to those found outdoors (e.g. a screen porch), these guys aren't too difficult to raise. Just give them plenty of milkweed to feast on and perhaps a bit of shredded paper to provide extra shelter for their cocoons.

European Gypsy Moth Caterpillar
European Gypsy Moth Caterpillar | Source
Female European Gypsy Moth
Female European Gypsy Moth | Source
Male European Gypsy Moth
Male European Gypsy Moth | Source

10. European Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar dispar)

Size: 4–5 cm

Hosts: a variety of hardwood trees, including apple, alder, hawthorn, oak, poplar, and willow

Range: Native to Europe and Asia, this species has spread to North America. Specimens are present from New England west to Michigan and south to Virginia, and from California north to British Columbia.

Identifying Features:

  • five pairs of blue dots along the back
  • six pairs of red dots along the back
  • short tufts of black setae emerging from each dot
  • long, thin, beige hairs along the sides, front, and back

While these fuzzy little guys may look cute, their species is best known for the incredible damage they do to deciduous forests in various parts of the world. The gypsy moth is an invasive pest from Europe (hence its name) and is currently one of the most debilitating tree defoliators in the U.S. (with over 500 preferred host species).

Note: Avoid touching these caterpillars with your bare hands, as their setae have been known to cause allergic reactions.

Raising European Gypsy Moth Caterpillars

As with many of the cats on this list, these guys are fairly easy to raise. As long as you provide a comfortable enclosure and plenty of food, they should do just fine.

White-Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar
White-Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar | Source
White-Marked Tussock Moth
White-Marked Tussock Moth | Source

11. White-Marked Tussock Moth (Orgyia leucostigma)

Size: 3.5 cm

Hosts: over 140 known hosts, including alder, apple, balsam fir, birch, and larch

Range: Eastern North America

Identifying Features:

  • bright red head (with two long black "antennae") and two red glands towards the end of the abdomen
  • four thick tufts of white, grey, or yellow hair on the first four abdominal segments
  • broad, yellow-bordered black stripe along the back
  • fluffy tufts of whitish setae near their legs
  • one long black hair pencil at the end of the abdomen

This snazzy species is found on trees in urban areas. They're indiscriminate eaters—they go as far as munching on decorative hawthorns and acacias—and when populations soar, these cats can defoliate entire trees.

Note: White-marked tussock moth caterpillars have irritating spines that can cause rashes, so handle them with care (and gloves!).

Raising White-Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillars

Seeing as these guys aren't picky eaters, they aren't too difficult to raise. Just create a comfortable environment for them, give them plenty of food, and let them grow!

Quite the Cocoon!

Female White-Marked Tussock Moths don't have wings. They spend their entire (if brief) adult lives on the cocoon—mating, laying eggs, and dying all in the same spot. Luckily, they (and their future larvae) have some protection; before pupation, the White-Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar weaves its venomous setae into its cocoon, providing a defensive shelter both for itself and its offspring.

Southern Flannel Moth Caterpillar
Southern Flannel Moth Caterpillar | Source
Southern Flannel Moth
Southern Flannel Moth | Source

12. Southern Flannel (Megalopyge opercularis)

Size: 3.5–4 cm

Hosts: trees and shrubs, such as almond, apple, hackberry, oak, orange, pecan, persimmon, and rose

Range: From Maryland south to Florida and west to Missouri and Texas. Occasionally found in New York and Pennsylvania.

Identifying Features:

  • fluffy hair (ranging in color from fiery orange and golden brown to grey-flecked black)
  • long, hairy tail
  • bright orange streak running along each side (variable)
  • curly hair (in young larvae)

Watch out for this one! The Southern Flannel caterpillar—also called the puss caterpillar or the asp—has one of the most painful stings of any insect in North America. It may look like Donald Trump's hair on a good day, but under those flowing brown locks are hidden rows of stinging spines.

They sometimes drop out of trees and may land on a person's arm or neck. If that happens, it's going to be a long day. The sting gets worse and worse over several hours before finally fading away. Allergic people may need to go to the emergency room.

Western Tent Caterpillar Nest
Western Tent Caterpillar Nest | Source
Female (left) and male (right) Western Tent Caterpillar Moths
Female (left) and male (right) Western Tent Caterpillar Moths | Source

13. Western Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum)

Size: 4.5–5 cm

Hosts: various tree and shrub species, including aspen, crabapple, mahogany, poplar, and willow

Range: from southeastern Canada to New York and west to the Pacific Coast

Identifying Features (extremely variable):

  • pale blue head
  • orange- or black-bordered stripe of whitish blue dashes (one per segment) along the back
  • pale blue or orange stripes (with clear markings on each segment) along the length of each side
  • line of fine orangey hairs along the sides, front, and rear (just above the legs)

Ever driven past a tree full of webs and shuddered at the thought of a spider-filled nest? Fear not, they were likely just full of these cuddly cats (or a few others who build similar "tents").

These larvae build their tents shortly after hatching and spend much of their lives in them thereafter. Colonies live, feed, molt, and shelter in these tents, expanding them as they grow. Late instars leave the tent to feed solo.

Note: Some people have reported getting an allergic reaction from touching these caterpillars (as well as eastern and forest tent caterpillars), so if you have very sensitive skin, you may want to wear gloves when handling these little guys.

Raising Western Tent Caterpillars

These cats are fairly easy to raise. Simply prepare a container with a paper towel in the bottom, a few sticks to crawl around on, and plenty of food for them to eat. You'll notice webs in their enclosure, which is totally normal. Just give them enough to eat and let them do their thing!

Eastern Tent Caterpillar
Eastern Tent Caterpillar | Source
Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth
Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth | Source

14. Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum)

Size: 5.7 cm

Hosts: trees in the rose family, such as apple, cherry, and crabapple

Range: from central eastern USA up to the Rockies, and Canada from Nova Scotia to Alberta

Identifying Features:

  • solid white stripe along the center of the back
  • patterned blue stripes along each side
  • tufts of hair (from whitish to rusty brown) below each blue stripe

These caterpillars begin work on their tents very soon after hatching. They are social insects, and caterpillars from one egg mass (or two or three, in large colonies) will stay together and spin a tent in the crotch of a tree. This is where they shelter in the rain or heat.

Raising Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Raise these cats just like their Western cousins!

Forest Tent Caterpillar
Forest Tent Caterpillar | Source
Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth
Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth | Source

15. Forest Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria)

Size: 4.5 cm long

Hosts: basswood, gum, oak, plum, and trembling aspen (depends on the region)

Range: present throughout most of the USA and southern Canada

Identifying Features:

  • line of white, footprint-shaped markings along the center of the back
  • broad black- and yellow-bordered blue stripe along each side
  • tufts of whitish hair below each blue stripe

These are the most widespread indigenous tent caterpillars in North America and are serious defoliators of deciduous hardwood trees. Unlike other tent caterpillars, they don't construct tents. Instead, they spin silken mats on trunks and branches and use them to rest or molt.

Raising Forest Tent Caterpillars

Raise these little guys the same way you would Western or Eastern tent caterpillars.

Fall Webworm
Fall Webworm | Source
Fall Webworm Moth
Fall Webworm Moth | Source

16. Fall Webworms (Hyphantria cunea)

Size: 2.5 cm

Hosts: nearly 90 of species of deciduous trees, including, walnut, cherry, and crabapple

Range: present throughout the USA and in southern Canada

Identifying Features:

  • pairs of warts along the back (both the warts and head capsules are black in northern regions and orange in southern regions)
  • whitish tufts of setae protruding from each wart

These caterpillars construct nests similar to those of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar, with one major exception—while ETCs build their tents at tree crotches, Fall Webworms construct theirs over the ends of tree branches. As the tents are somewhat transparent, you will see caterpillars, partially eaten leaves, and droppings within.

Raising Fall Webworms

These caterpillars are fairly hardy, so they aren't too difficult to raise. They are unique, however, in that they incorporate bits of plant litter into their cocoons, so be sure to provide plenty of bark and leaf litter in their container.

Sycamore Caterpillar
Sycamore Caterpillar | Source
Sycamore Moth
Sycamore Moth | Source

17. The Sycamore (Acronicta aceris)

Size: 4 cm

Hosts: various deciduous trees, including sycamore and maple

Range: southeastern England, with scattered records elsewhere in Europe

Identifying Features:

  • line of black-bordered white markings along the center of the back
  • thick, fluffy orange tufts of hair along the sides, front, and rear

This beautiful caterpillar is the only one in this guide from Europe. This creature is the beautiful larva of a plain gray moth. It's closely related to the dagger moths of North America.

Raising a Sycamore Caterpillar

If you happen to be in Europe and find one of these caterpillars, you should try to raise it to an adult. It gets its name from the kind of tree it eats, so you'll know right away what kind of leaves to give it.

Didn't See Your Caterpillar Here?

If you didn't see your caterpillar in this guide, have a look at one of my other caterpillar identification articles here on Owlcation:

Striped Caterpillar Identification: If your caterpillar has stripes, you might find it here.

Black Caterpillar Identification: This guide will help you identify black and dark-colored caterpillars, including many common species.

Green Caterpillar Identification: Many caterpillars are green to blend in with the leaves they feed on. Here are several that you might encounter.

North American Caterpillar Identification: This is a guide to the most common caterpillars in North America (including a few fuzzy ones in the Datana genus not listed here).

Good luck finding your critter!

Questions & Answers

  • What is a white fluffy caterpillar called?

    It could be a yellow woolly bear caterpillar.

  • Are moths poisonous as well?

    No, stinging caterpillars do not make stinging moths. However, there are a few species of furry moths that can irritate your nose and throat if you inhale their loose "fur" (which are really a kind of adapted scales).

  • Do you have a photo of a yellow wooly bear moth caterpillar ?

    You can find one with a google search: Spilosoma virginica.

  • Where does the caterpillar southern flannel live?

    They occur throughout the eastern U.S. but are most common from Maryland to Florida and east to Texas.

  • what type of caterpillar is furry, yellow, and has equidistant black spots down each side of its body?

    It sounds like a yellow woolly bear.

© 2014 GreenMind Guides


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    • profile image


      8 days ago

      I found a Light Tan with 2 dark brown spots the brown spots one at each end of its body has so so many Black Spears on each side of its spine and black mouth, I live in Ft Myers Fla I raise Monarch Butterfly’s. I’ve never ever seen a Caterpillar that looks like this one that I found on the outside of my Butterfly Tent, Please does anybody know what kind of Caterpillar this might be ??? I did take a Good Pic Of it. Thank You

    • greenmind profile imageAUTHOR

      GreenMind Guides 

      3 weeks ago from USA

      Hi -- first of all, don't be worried! They're almost certainly harmless. Can you send a picture? identification@panamainsects.org.

    • profile image

      Mary bradley 

      3 weeks ago

      I have many many little orange and Black caterpillars. There body is bright orange and has long black hair on top. Can't find on internet. I have little ones walking around playing outside. These things worry me.

    • profile image


      6 weeks ago

      Hi! I’m from South Asia and I’ve a whole community of fluffy caterpillars that look a little like the western tent caterpillars except they have a huge yellow lining and not orange and they move about the branch together. No bird feeds on them

    • profile image

      Some person 

      6 weeks ago

      I found a small black skinny and fuzzy caterpillar the other day what is it?

    • profile image


      7 weeks ago

      Are fuzzy catapillars poisonous?

    • profile image


      8 weeks ago

      I found a furry tan colored caterpillar with 4 long paintbrush-like antennas (2 on each side of head and som3 thinner ones on the rear end. A dark brown line on top of the spine. Can’t find a picture of it on any of the identifier sites. Anyone know???

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      Very interesting and informative!

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      I found a fuzzy black caterpillar, and it has yellowish orange fur along the bottom. I can't find what kind it is, so if somebody could let me know that'd be great.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      I was touring Tarbin Gardens and saw an unfamiliar fuzzy caterpillar. It was a darker shade of grey with a black head. It also had a spiked mane of black and white spikes. There were also a few spikes of black and white sticking out the back end. Can you identify?

      Thank you, Lyn

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      Hello, I could use some help with identifying a possible moth. I have been seeing these black furry small what appears to be moths on my porch. Last week I power washed my porch and it was very odd to say the least when hit with water it almost seemed to have melted away ,just leaving a dirt stream in the drainage. So now a week or so later I have 5 more on the porch again. It might not be a moth at all however I have some experience with the IO caterpillar, which was very unpleasant so I'm not trying to get to close to whatever these things are. I have a few pictures I can/will post and could also go get some closer up ones as well. Sorry for how long this is but it's hard to explain. Any help would be great since I have 5 children 3 of which are 8 an under so it's concerning to me. Forgive me I'm new to the site so if someone can guide me to how I can post a picture that would be great . Ty everyone, I really appreciate your time.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      This guide helped me learn a lot about catipillers

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      I think your comment about Donald Trump's hair was rude. Any time you make fun of somebody's appearance it makes you look small.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      I found a orange and white caterpiller and it is fuzzy

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      I found an all yellow catipiller with no black whatsoever. I really want to know what kind of catipiller he or she is and have been searching all day. If you know what kind of catipiller it is, please let me know.


    • greenmind profile imageAUTHOR

      GreenMind Guides 

      3 months ago from USA

      Not poisonous! Probably a kind of tiger moth caterpillar. They won't hurt anyone and they make a pretty moth.

    • profile image

      Carolyn Fruge 

      3 months ago

      Found lots of white furry caterpillars around the outside of brick home? Is it piosoneous?

    • profile image

      Stacy E Doney 

      3 months ago

      I found a hairy black caterpillar with thin yellow bands and possibly nobs on its back. Not sure what it us. I'm in Northeastern Maryland.

    • profile image

      Anita Davison 

      3 months ago

      found a canary yellow caterpillar with black spikes on trunk of a white oak tree. What is it and what does it eat?

    • profile image

      Ron Hammel 

      3 months ago

      I have a small caterpillar it's white with a black strip down the middle of it's back. It is stripping the leaves on my heart nut trees. Do you think the trees are in danger of bring destroyed?

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      I have an area of milkweed and butterfly bush dedicated to Monarchs. Do they have any predators in the egg stage? I am grateful for the identification of the "Southern Flannel" as I just saw one on my milkweed in Central PA while checking for Monarch eggs. Also some Giant Leopards feeding on the milkweed.

    • profile image

      Evelyn Cherie 

      4 months ago

      I have found at least 9 black furry catapillar ranging in 3” long in my living room on my couch and in my rug under the coffee table. I vacuum everyday but they still return. I’ve been stung twice. I can’t seem to get rid of them. All my furniture is new along with new carpet throughout. The only plant I have outside is juniper trees. I live in the desert where it’s dry and no grass or plants just the juniper tree. The doors stay shut. It’s a mystery of where their coming from. How can I get rid of them. Is there a stray I can spray inside my home that is safe for my animals and myself. I can’t enjoy myself in my living room without getting stung or finding a catapillar crawling up my leg or arm.

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      I have found at least 9 black furry catapillar ranging at 3” long in my living room. I vacuum everyday. I found them in the rug and on the couch. I’ve inspected the couch and like I said vacuum everyday but their still appearing in the living room. I’ve been stung twice. I just can’t seem to get rid of them and I don’t know where their coming from. What can I do?

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      I have small fuzzy black caterpillars in my sunflowers, echinacea, black-eyed susan plants, less than 1" in length. They're eating stems, some pretty think, snapping them off. I can't find the exact worm on the internet. Anyone have an idea. I'm in VA. So far I'm spraying with neem which seems to be helping but I wonder about treating the soil. Thank you for any input.

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      I found a full white caterpillar what type of butterfly is it and can I safely touch it

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      So I found a full orange caterpillar or worm and has white spots and is kinda fluffy what is it? Worm or Caterpillar?

    • profile image

      Jason Jeffers 

      5 months ago

      I believe I've found a Giant Leopard Caterpillar. I saved him from some ants. The article said they overwinter as a caterpillar, so are difficult to raise to a moth. What does overwinter mean? It's almost summer now.


    • greenmind profile imageAUTHOR

      GreenMind Guides 

      6 months ago from USA

      Yes send photo to identification@panamainsects.org

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      Caterpillar has n forget me nots. 98550 Olympic Peninsula black with light yellow/white side spots down the length 2” last BG red bald head. ID? Can we send photos?

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      I still can't find out the caterpillar that I got!

    • profile image

      Christopher H 

      7 months ago

      Help, i found a small black fuzzy thing that looks like it has a beak, but no feathers, only fur. its scared the crap out of me and i'm really scared

      too scared to go outside. i don't want to die, and my body feel weird after seeing it, i think its from how scared i am.

    • profile image

      Renee Holberts 

      8 months ago

      I just found a large black (all, and just black) caterpillar in my yard.

    • profile image

      Douglas County 

      8 months ago

      I found an all white caterpillar with a brown head. I don't know what type it is. Please help!!

    • profile image

      Victoria McNerlin 

      14 months ago

      I found Two Furry yellow And Black Catipilars I Think Are american Daggers Outside my apartment door Near dried Up Leaves I believe Are Maple

    • profile image

      Ethelann Stanzione 

      14 months ago

      I found a furry yellow caterpillar on my peony leaf today.

    • profile image

      Karl from n.central KY 

      16 months ago

      I began planting milkweed 3 yrs ago for Monarchs. While watching for missing leaves last week I saw the wrong critter on a denuded plant.Your web site helped me identify the caterpillar as a milkweed tiger moth. Thank you ! karl

    • profile image

      terry fenner 

      17 months ago

      Coming into Bury St Edmunds we saw a large black furry catapillar measuring about 23 cm. Can anyone identify it please?

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      3 years ago from Brazil

      How interesting. We get our fair share of caterpillars here in Brazil. We have a small coconut plantation and I will say, any that come near my trees, get squashed or fed to the chickens.

      I can appreciate their beauty but.....

      I think that is a great idea to put the photos of the moth as well. It makes it come full circle.

      We have even seen wasps taking catepillars to put into their nests.

      One interesting caterpillar we have here looks just like bird poop. Not sure what moth (or butterfly) is responsible for it.

      Interesting hub.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, I've been at HP for a few years now, and this is the first hub I've seen about caterpillars...and a good one at that. This old science teacher thanks you.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Found a Big black shiny one. Thought it was a severed cat paw. Certainly did not harm it.

    • profile image


      4 years ago



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