Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Yellow fuzzy caterpillar





BugGuide to the rescue once again!

This is a Spotted Apatelodes moth caterpillar (Apatelodes torrefacta).

I had to look through 39 pages of moth caterpillars to find it, but BugGuide.Net came through again in the end. Apparently these moths are normally white instead of yellow.

Here's what he'll look like once he's a moth.

I can't decide whether he reminds me more of Cousin Itt or a Tribble.

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I should point out that the adult moth link above deserves plenty of your time if you have an interest in moths. The site, Moths in a Connecticut Yard, is full of helpful information about attracting moths.

The sugar, beer, and blacklight bait combination would probably work on some people too, but it might not be the type you'd want milling around in your back yard.

The web site author wrote a book about moths that might interest you as well.

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See this previous post about fuzzy white caterpillars. Since I wrote that, I've read that many fuzzy caterpillars, if not stinging, can be irritating to the skin.

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Edited to add:
If you're interested in bugs or other critters without vertebrae, you'll want to check in over at Circus of the Spineless. Submit some entries yourself if you're so inclined! Deadline for the first edition is Sept 28.

19 comments:

Floridacracker said...

Ahh, "The Trouble With Tribbles", that was a great episode. Is he munching on persimmon? We once raised a hickory horned devil from one inch caterpillar to giant caterpillar to pupa to huge moth. He ate a persimmon branch of leaves per day.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Great caterpillar photo. I was expecting the moth to look different. I always want them to have the colors of their caterpillar days.

Ron said...

Ha! My first thought on seeing that was "Tribble!" Though I do a pretty good Cousin Itt impression myself.

Maybe its diet turned it yellow? How persnickety are they?

The moth gets points for its tailoring, even if its suit is in so subdued a palette.

Colleen said...

Beautiful pictures. I'm into butterflies and caterpillars right now myself and have taken lots of interesting pictures. I'm going to bookmark that website.

Thanks!

Rurality said...

FC, I neglected to note the host species, but I did notice that it had leaves with lots of holes in them. :)

RD, me too, but this this one at least is interesting in both phases.

Ron I didn't see any references to diet determining the color, but you never know...

Thanks Colleen. I'm adding a bit to the main post about Circus of the Spineless, which you might like!

pablo said...

That is one UGLY moth. Wow!

Not a Tribble but another creature from Star Trek. Don't know the episode, but there was a fuzzy dog that they added some antennae to to make it alien. That's what this caterpillar looks like.

klingongal said...

Hmmmm I think I prefer the caterpillar to the moth as far as being an entrant in a beauty contest...

BTW I got the soap from you and it is FABULOUS! My husband LOVES the "I'm too sexy for my soap" and I love the sandalwood. I WILL be ordering more in the future!!!!

Ontario Wanderer said...

I thought the moth was beautiful as well as the caterpillar but then I do like strange things at times. Now that we are back home, I look forward to going out to the fields to see what is racing against the fall coolness.

Rurality said...

Pablo I don't remember that one... but now you've got me thinking of that doggie that the Grinch stuck antlers on. :)

Klingongal, thanks! So glad you like it!

OW, fall coolness? There's supposed to be coolness? :) Still stuck in the 90s here for daytime temps. It is a bit cooler at night though.

cookie jill said...

fuzzy wuzzy was a bear...
fuzzy wuzzy had no hair...
fuzzy wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?

what a cutie.
goes hand in had with what swamp things had up the other day.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Re coolness...it's supposed to start being cool and has dropped below 80 F here most of the time now. I am sure it is going to get cool sometime. The record cool was below freezing yesterday but this year we seem to be making more new high temperatures. Maybe I am just dreaming.

Cindy M. said...

great photos and a cool find- I've used sugarbaiting and wine ropes (as John H. suggests in his book- it works). My neighbors have made the comment that my moths need a 12 step program ;)

Sven said...

Good Job! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping me identify this caterpillar. My 5 year-old daughter found it in a tree. How does that caterpillar turn into a moth like that! That moth looks pre-historic! We found a leaf that it likes. So hopefully we'll be able to watch the complete cycle. My daughter is such a bug lover.

amy said...

hello there. my name's amy. i found one of those fuzzy yellow caterpillars in my woods near my cornfield and neither me or my mom could figure out what kind of caterillar this was, so i thought that your blog was most helpful. i kep a collection of pics and drawings of ll the different ones we catch and knowing the name of each one is so important, so thanks.

shellymn8 said...

we found a yellow fuzzy catipillar in our backyard and we would like to find more info about them, especially how long it takes to grow into a moth!

Anonymous said...

Hi we found the exact caterpillar too and have put him in a jar. He just spun his cocoon and has been in for 3 days. Do you know how long it takes for them to hatch?
amy

Rurality said...

I don't know how long it takes them to turn into a moth. I hope one of you will come back and let me know!

The Nickerson Family said...

my daughter found this catepillar and we've put it in a jar with a few leaves, some of you really seem like you know what you're talking about, could you help me out by letting me know what else I should be putting in the jar: what kind of food or moisture it may need?

THANKS FOR THE HELP!!!!!