CAREFUL with this CONSPICUOUS CATERPILLAR

CAREFUL with this CONSPICUOUS CATERPILLAR

Hickory tussock moth larvae have made their presence known in hardwood stands this month. Whether foraging on nut leaves, suspended from a silken strand, residing on low vegetation, or cruising over ground, this caterpillar’s showy appearance makes them stand out.  Predation is of little concern to this distasteful species.  Long abdominal hairs are barbed and stick to an intruder, often causing an allergenic reaction similar to stinging nettles.  Thus, it is best to take a non-invasive approach when observing this little bugger.

CAREFUL with this CONSPICUOUS CATERPILLAR
Hickory tussock moth (Lophocampa caryae) caterpillar feeding on shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) leaves
CAREFUL with this CONSPICUOUS CATERPILLAR
Hickory tussock moth caterpillar viewed from above     Note: Black dorsal and subdorsal hairs contrast with a white body.
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