help ID these clusters of black catepillars with long white fur

greyraven40July 7, 2011


these are on a weed type thing behind my privacy fence. There are 100s of them in these clusters and they "twitch"

Any ID? Are they safe? I couldn't find any similar images...thanks, casey

link to pics....

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link doesn't seem to be hyperlinked...sorry

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 8:19PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

They sure look like walnut caterpillars. Walnut caterpillars/Datana integerrima can be found on members of that family of trees, like butternut, hickory, pecan and walnut. Could these weeds be walnut or other nut tree sprouts?
Here's a link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Datana integerrima

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:48PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ooh, this is one time that I can call a caterpillar 'creepy'. Maybe not on an idividual basis, but in a big, twitching wad of hairy caterpillars?

Yes, Sherry, the plant is some sort of nut in the Carya genus (Juglandaceae family).

greyraven, they don't sting if that is what you mean by 'safe'? They have lots and lots of natural predators and rarely will cause enough damage to be a long term problem for the trees. Nice pictures.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:49PM
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I have those this year too. There's 15 feet of frass on my driveway where my black walnut overhangs it. Kind of scary to see so many up in the trees. They DO twitch. It's weird.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 4:58PM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

You think you're creeped out, imagine how the birds, or mice that are considering eating them feel! Evolutionary mission accomplished!!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 1:47PM
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I have these too. Mine are in a big clump on the side of a tree...

Copy and paste this link, or click on the hyperlink below for a pic:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Ament(5a SD)

Wow! that -would- be kinda creepy to come upon. Yikes! lol Glad I don't have those. I'd be freaked out for sure!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 4:31PM
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