Caterpillar ID?

mooseling(Z5 CO)August 15, 2010

I've noticed that there's quite a few small black and yellow caterpillars on my house. They're half an inch long or smaller and slightly fuzzy. I tried googling it and they do look a lot like Harrisina americana larvae, but according to what I found, that species isn't found in Colorado. I did find mention of Harrisina brillians which is in Colorado, but they caterpillars I have don't really look like the pictures I've found. Also I would think they would be on the grape plants if they were one of those species. I haven't seen any on the grapes at all or any plants. Just on the house itself.

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oilpainter(3)

You're caterpillar is the larva of the spotted tussock moth. You can read about it in the link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Spotted tussock moth

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 6:51AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

'Slightly fuzzy' doesn't seem to fit the Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillar. He's a cute thing, isn't he?

Hopefully, mooseling will get back to us with an affirmation or an improved description. Some pictures would even be better!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 7:48AM
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mooseling(Z5 CO)

It's definitely not that. I couldn't tell that these guys were fuzzy until I tried petting one. I'll try to get some pictures of them tomorrow!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 2:58AM
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mooseling(Z5 CO)

Sorry I couldn't get a better picture. My regular camera's not working and all I had is my phone camera.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:57AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Well, I'd sure guess that it's a Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer, but you say no?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 1:31PM
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mooseling(Z5 CO)

That's my guess too. I think the first one I examined closely looked a bit different. All the other ones I've looked at look like the western grape leaf skeletonizer. Now my only question is why haven't we seen them on the grapes (or any plant for that matter) and why are they crawling all over the side of the house? Any ideas?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 7:28PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It's not totally unusual for an insect to become disoriented and lay eggs in places they shouldn't. I've seen lots of eggs on the siding of homes, on screen doors and windows, etc. WHO KNOWS why? Not me, that's for sure.

Thanks for posting your pictures and your story. It reminds us that there are exceptions to every rule concerning any living organism.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 10:23PM
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eastoutwest

Be careful petting caterpillars... I've had a few nasty stings from the more decorated ones.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 12:43AM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I've had a few nasty stings from the more decorated ones

How many times did it take you to learn NOT to touch them?
I haven't been stung yet but have seen a few pretty ones. Here's recent pictures of the mildly irritating white marked tussock moth cat.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 6:30AM
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eastoutwest

One time I took a step and felt a sting on my ankle. Looked down and a big puffy green one was on my shoelace. Apparently the lace swung up and hit my ankle. It wasn't like a bee sting as far as pain, but it was swollen for a few days...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 11:46AM
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