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Fuzzy orange caterpillar - Seirarctia echo

Fuzzy orange caterpillar - Seirarctia echo
Port Orange, Volusia County, Florida, USA
May 10, 2010
Size: 2.5 inches long
I just started seeing these around my house. I saw one on my garage door that was as long as 3 inches and it was big and fat. Is this a poisonous or harmless caterpillar? What does it like to eat? What kind of butterfly or moth does it turn into?

Moved from ID Request.

Looks like
Echo Moth, Seirarctia echo

It'll grow up to look like this:

According to the Guide, it eats "coontie, cabbage palmetto, crotons, lupie, oaks, persimmon and other woody plants." I can't find any indication that the caterpillars sting or are in any way dangerous.

Welcome to BugGuide!

Echo Moth
Thanks for the reply, Ken! I was hoping that it was something that would be more pretty and beneficial than that, but I am glad to know what it is. I am ashamed to say that I am a bit of an entomophobe (I just looked up the term for fear of bugs), so I like to know what I am up against here in Florida.
It's funny to me that we have lived here for 12 years now and this is the first time I have ever seen these critters. But we do have a ton of oak trees and cabbage palms around our property. Maybe the chilly winter that we had this year has brought them out, or something.
Thanks again!

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