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Black Caterpillar/Long White Hair

These caterpillars are on a hickory tree. They are scattered throughout the leaves feeding. There is a large bag of them on the side of the tree to which they return after feeding. They are about 2-21/2 in. long. I live in northeastern Indiana. Sorry no photo. felines

Black Caterpillars/White hair
Thank you for your reply and photos. These caterpillars have no other color but black. No stripes or dots of any kind, just the 1/2" white hair. I live in the center of 71/2 acres of woods, so get a lot of insect species. There are several Tussock species around. I looked in my Peterson Caterpillar Guide, but couldn't find a match. These are not in a typical "tent", but a web bag on the side of the tree. It is about the size of a small grapefruit. It's about 15' up on the trunk, so I can't reach it. This is a fairly young tree, but not a sapling, so I was able to pull a branch down and remove one of them for closer observation. They definately have irratating hairs, as my palm stung for a while after he sat on it for a second til I got him on a paper. I put him back on the tree and will continue to observe their goings on. I looked them up under webworms, gypsy moths and tent caterpillars, but they didn't match any of them, so that's when I decided to ask here. I know that caterpillars usually change colors with each shed, so possibly this color is not the final color. I wish I could include a photo but I don't have a camera available to me.

 
How about
Datana integerrima - Walnut Caterpillar Moth - such as ? Info in the guide here

 
Caterpillar ID
This is close, but mine have no white markings on their body. I just looked at them again and noticed when they walked along the branch the area between their prolegs is a very dark burgandy. Not visible from the side but from underneath. Do the Walnut Caterpillars live in webbing and would they eat hickory when there are walnut trees in the same area?

 
Hickories and Walnuts
These are two closely-related genera in the same plant family, and the Walnut Caterpillars have been recorded from many species of hickory, as well as a few rather surprising unrelated plants (Datura stramonium!?).

 
Bingo!
I looked up Walnut Caterpillar Moth Caterpillar on the net and you were right on the ID. The mature caterpillars are totally black with long white hair. Here is the link where I found the info. www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/fidls/Walnutcat/walnutfidl.htm Thanks for the help. felines

There is a Hickory tussock moth
but we haven't heard of them making a tent --
and here's what the eastern tent caterpillar looks like -- .
Is either of these correct? If not decribe the difference, and we'll see what we can do.

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