Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Sigrid Olson

Unique woolly bears head for shelter


October 22, 2020

Sigrid Olson, Pathfinder

As the temperatures drop, Isabella Tiger Moth caterpillars known as woolly bears seek out places to overwinter.

During the fall in the Blackfoot Watershed, Isabella Tiger Moth and Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillars can be seen crawling in the sunshine across roads and over fences. These caterpillars are known as woolly bears. While some believe their coloring can predict the weather, other features of their life cycle push the boundaries of what some would think is science fiction.

Many moth species have fuzzy caterpillars that go by the name of woolly bear or woolly worm. Woolly bear caterpillars are the larvae of the brightly colored moths in the family Eribedae. They belong to the Tiger moth subfam...

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