We recently received five photos from a reader containing images of different caterpillars. He hopes we will identify them. We will be writing an article for each of these different organisms! This is the third of the caterpillar posts.
This caterpillar has two distinct black antennas and a tail, as well as long white hairs surrounding its body. The most prominent features are the 4 yellow horns on the anterior end. We believe this is an Orgyia detrital, or a fir tussock caterpillar. There are several different species of Orgyia moths and caterpillars. However many species show the four prominent bumps, including this one. While this caterpillar is very interesting to look at, if you touch it you might feel like you are touching fiberglass, and it may even leave you with a painful rash. These caterpillars and moths are distributed around some parts of Canada and the United States. Fir Tussock caterpillars eat the foliage of both deciduous and coniferous trees.
ATTENTION: GET PARASITE HELP NOW! At All About Worms we get a lot of questions about skin parasites, blood parasites, and intestinal parasites in humans. Because we can't diagnose you, we have put together this list of doctors and labs who understand and specialize in dealing with parasites in humans! That resource is HERE
Overall, we think that the fir tussock moth caterpillars are very intriguing, but we hope we don’t accidentally touch one!
|No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?