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Species Pyrrharctia isabella - Isabella Tiger Moth - Hodges#8129

Species Pyrrharctia isabella - Isabella Tiger Moth - Pyrrharctia isabella orange moth perhaps Pyrrharctia isabella - Pyrrharctia isabella Isabella Tiger Moth - Hodges #8129 - Pyrrharctia isabella Large moth with orange legs! - Pyrrharctia isabella Pyrrharctia isabella Unknown Moth - Pyrrharctia isabella Isabella Tiger Moth - Pyrrharctia isabella saved from drowning - Pyrrharctia isabella
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Spilosomina
Genus Pyrrharctia
Species isabella (Isabella Tiger Moth - Hodges#8129)
Hodges Number
8129
Other Common Names
Banded Woolly Bear (caterpillar) (1)
Black-ended Bear (caterpillar) (2)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Pyrrharctia isabella (J.E. Smith, 1797)
Isia isabella
* phylogenetic sequence # 930335
Numbers
The only species found in America north of Mexico.(3)
Size
Wingspan 45-65mm (2)
Larvae to 57mm (4)
Identification
Adult: Sexually dimorphic, male HW is pale orange and female HW is rosy
Larva: Caterpillars are fuzzy and variably banded with black ends, rusty red in the center.
Range
Common throughout North America (4)
Season
Flies April to August (2)
Food
Larvae eats many plants and trees including grasses, asters, birches, clover, corn, elms, maples and sunflowers (2)(1)
Life Cycle
The first of two broods pupates in Summer. The second brood overwinters as a caterpillar and pupates in Spring. (2)
Remarks
The only species of Pyrrharctia. (1)
Folk wisdom holds that the relative lengths of the bands of the caterpillar foretell the severity of the coming winter (4). Actually, the variability of the bands depends on many factors. As larvae mature, the reddish bands lengthen (2). Wetter weather lengthens the black bands (1). So while not a reliable measure, it makes some sense that onset of an early and thus longer winter will force younger and less red caterpillars into hibernation.
Caterpillars may resort to cannibalism.
Print References
Lafontaine J. D., and B. C. Schmidt 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America North of Mexico. p. 19.(3)
Powell, J. A., and P. A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. pl. 47.18f; p. 269.(5)
Arnett provides a black and white adult photo, figure 27.291 (1).
Peterson's First Guide illustrates all life stages, page 99 (4).
Covell provides color illustrations of caterpillar and adult, plates 1 and 14 (2).
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems - species account with collection map and photos of pinned adults.
Natural history and tidbits from Iowa State University.
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
3.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .
4.Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars of North America
Amy Bartlett Wright. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Company.
5.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.