Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mystery Caterpillar



K1 found this the other day.    We took the pics so we could identify it later.

There are a couple of good ways to ID a mystery caterpillar like this. 






 First, you need to make a list of what you know for sure:
  • It's yellow
  • It has black spikey lashes
  • black face
  • very hairy [probably a moth]

Then we went to http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?guide=Caterpillars first.   They have a great ID site!   They use process of elimination and you can combine features to narrow things down.   Great pictures!   However, our caterpillar wasn't there.

We found some close matches, but there were significant differences.   So then we turned to Google and did a search for 'Hairy yellow caterpillar...' and lo and behold it popped up the rest of the phrase: 'hairy yellow caterpillar black spikes'.    

Perfect!   

We did the search and found this site: http://plantsnrocks.blogspot.com/2007/08/yellow-hairy-caterpillar-with-few-black.html   which had a pic of the same thing and had identified it as an American Dagger Moth.

We went back to the discoverlife site and plugged in the name:  American dagger moth.   They had the list, but no pics at all.   Maybe they'll want ours.  I'm going to try to find a way to submit photos to them.

More mystery caterpillars tomorrow!

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