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Woolly Bear Caterpillar
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Woolly Bear Caterpillar

The Woolly Bear Caterpillar (Isia isabella, Pyrrharctia isabella) is a common caterpillar that has long setae (bristles). The amount of black in this caterpillar's setae changes as the insect matures; the width of the red band in the mid-section of the caterpillar decreases with time. Some people use the amount of red in the Woolly Bear coat to predict the upcoming winter weather. The setae of the Woolly Bear can irritate a person's skin.

The Woolly Bear eats grasses and forbs (small, herbaceous, non-woody broad-leaved vascular plants, like wild flowers).

The Woolly Bear begins its life as a tiny egg that hatches into a small caterpillar (the larval stage). After eating and growing a tremendous amout, the caterpillar pupates, spinning a silky cocoon around itself and eventually metamorphosing into a yellow-brown moth called the Isabella Tiger Moth (an orange moth with cream-colored wings and black spots).

Class Insecta, Order Lepidoptera, Family Arctiidae, Genus Isia or Pyrrharctia, Species I. isabella or P. isabella

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