Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


Species Spilosoma virginica - Virginian Tiger Moth - Hodges#8137

Caterpillar Shrinking - day 23 - Spilosoma virginica Fuzzy Cat - Spilosoma virginica White Spiny Caterpillar - Spilosoma virginica Fuzzy Cat - Spilosoma virginica caterpillar - June 30 - Spilosoma virginica yellow bear caterpillar - Spilosoma virginica Erebidae: Spilosoma virginica - Spilosoma virginica Hyphantria cunea - Fall Webworm Moth - Hodges#8140 - Spilosoma virginica
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Spilosomina
Genus Spilosoma
Species virginica (Virginian Tiger Moth - Hodges#8137)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Yellow Woolybear (caterpillar)
Yellow Wooly Bear (caterpillar)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Spilosoma virginica – (Fabricius, 1798)
Diacrisia virginica - Hampson, 1901
Spilosoma congrua - Walker, 1855
Bombyx virginica - Fabricius, 1798
wingspan 32-52 mm (1)
Caterpillars highly variable in color - beige/yellow/dark red-brown/black. Body covered in long soft hairs (setae) of variable length - some much longer than the others (more than three body segments in length). Often one long hair in center of each tuft. Spiracles white. (2)
Widespread throughout most of North America.
Mature caterpillars May through November.
Caterpillars feed on "many low-growing plants, and woody shrubs and trees"(2)
Life Cycle
Click on any image below to view the Life Cycle:
1. Eggs.                   2. Caterpillar.              3. Pupa.                  4. Pupa in its cocoon.        5. Adult
See Also
Salt Marsh Caterpillar Estigmene acrea. Caterpillars also have long soft hairs - longest hairs are concentrated at the ends of the larva, especially the rear.
Adult: S. virginica has yellow markings on the abdomen, while S. congrua's abdomen is pure white. [comment by Paul Dennehy]
Internet References - images of all life stages
life cycle PDF (MJ Hatfield)
Works Cited
1.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
2.Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2005. Princeton University Press.