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Banded Woolly Bear

Posted on Nov 12, 2015

This Banded Woolly Bear caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella) had already gone into defensive mode, balling up after I spotted it and before I returned with my camera. I will say one thing for this individual – I love the look! The old story goes that more extensive black covering the body means it will be a colder and snowier winter will be for us, and the more brown a caterpillar has the warmer it will be. Even though it is not stretched out you can see how much brown we have here, and I like it! I think we could all go for a warmer winter than the last two historically cold seasons. I hope we have some snow for our winter trails cell phone tour (and because snow is a lot of fun) but you can keep the prolonged subzero temperatures and constant negative departures. However, in reality, the distribution of brown and black on these caterpillars is due to their feeding patterns, age and other non-weather-forecasting reasons.

Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillar-6617

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator