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.Learn More
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 >
Bacillus thuringiensis, better known as Bt powder, is a type of natural bacteria that kills caterpillars on plants. Bt powder does not harm other types of beneficial insects.Full Answer >
Caterpillars can turn into butterflies or moths. "Caterpillar" is the name for the larval stage of the life cycle of insects in the order Lepidoptera, which includes all butterflies and moths.Full Answer >
Most adult moths eat nectar or simply do not feed, and moth larvae feed on many types of foliage and clothing fibers. Adult male moths of the Calyptra genus are capable of feeding on blood.Full Answer >