Q:

What do wooly bear caterpillars eat?

A:

Wooly bear caterpillars eat clover, grasses, dandelions and weeds. As a generalist species, the wooly bear caterpillar feeds on a variety of forbs and herbs, but it does not typically harm vegetables or ornamental plants.

The wooly bear caterpillar emerges from the Isabella tiger moth and is found in various cold regions throughout the world, including in the Arctic. The larva of the caterpillar emerges from the egg during the fall of the year, and then it overwinters and freezes solid in the caterpillar form. Once spring arrives, it thaws out and emerges. Once it has emerged as a moth, it has a few days in which it must find a mate.

Wooly bear caterpillars are associated with a fair amount of folklore in the eastern United States and Canada, where several festivals have sprung up in their honor. It is purported that the width of a stripe on the caterpillar's back is indicative of upcoming weather. The caterpillar, which is seen in abundance in this region during the fall, bears a thick brown stripe on its back if the winter ahead will be mild; a narrow stripe indicates a bad winter ahead. Festivals are held in places that include Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Canada. One festival in Beattyville, Ky., features a race between wooly bear caterpillars.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What do caterpillars eat?

    A:

    Caterpillars mostly eat plant material, but some eat insects. The caterpillars of clothes moths chew through fabric. When they first hatch, many caterpillars eat their own eggshells. Some species of caterpillars are cannibals.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do monarch caterpillars eat?

    A:

    Monarch butterfly caterpillars are famous for eating milkweed plants. Indeed, monarch and queen butterflies are called "milkweed butterflies" because of the food source for the caterpillars and a nectar source for the adults.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do caterpillars come from?

    A:

    Caterpillars get their start as eggs laid by other caterpillars on plants, according to About.com. Before caterpillars turn into butterflies they lay their eggs in appropriate locations to start the next generation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What eats caterpillars?

    A:

    Several predators consume caterpillars, including birds, bats, nematodes and reptiles. Insects such as beetles and flies also eat caterpillars. Caterpillars survive in the wild through the use of several defense mechanisms meant to either hide them from their predators or assist in fighting them.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore