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Species Spilosoma virginica - Virginian Tiger Moth - Hodges#8137

Virginian Tiger Moth Caterpillar - Spilosoma virginica Yellow Woolly Bear - Spilosoma virginica Caterpillar ID request - Spilosoma virginica Spilosoma Virginica or Virginian tiger moth? - Spilosoma virginica Unknown Caterpillar - Spilosoma virginica Spilosoma virginica... I think - Spilosoma virginica Yellow Bear Caterpillar (Virginian Tiger Moth) Spilosoma virginica - Spilosoma virginica Id help needed - caterpillar - 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.