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Saturniid caterpillar - Coloradia pandora

Saturniid caterpillar - Coloradia pandora
Cleveland National Forest, San Diego County, California, USA
May 26, 2003
Size: BL~ 51.5 mm
This huge cat at 51.5 mm was crossing the trail up to Garnet Peak, elevation about 5000'. I assume it is a mature cat.

It is somewhat similar to Hemileuca electra caterpillar, but it is much larger, heavier and the hairs are much smaller and tighter. Possibly it is a later instar? Or a different species? My San Diego County moth list includes two other Hemileucas, nevadensis and eglanterina,two Saturnia's that seem smaller, and Hyalophora euryalus. I'm grateful for any help.

Moved from Pandora Moth.

Moved from ID Request.

Similar but...
This is a member of the genus similar to Hemileuca, Coloradia. This particular individual is C. pandora the only member of the genus found in San Diego Co.

Ryan, can you leave a comment on

Coloradia pandora
Thanks so much for the ID. I see that C. pandora is a larger moth than H. electra, which can account for the heavier and longer cat.

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