Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Arctiidae (ark-TYE-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Pyrrharctia
Species: isabella


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Yale, Iowa
Glen Burnie, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Cole Camp, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Trenton, New Jersey
Kingston, New York
Concord, North Carolina
Glouster, Ohio
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Kalama, Washington
Poulsbo, Washington
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Jan 23, 2011, DaylilySLP from Dearborn Heights, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

They are so cute and fuzzy, I didn't want to let him go.


On Nov 2, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I used to reliably see these Isabella Tiger Moth Larvae [Wooly Bear Catepillars] every fall as a kid in the Catskill Mtns of Upstate New York; i have lived in North Carolina now for over 15 years and you dont see as many on these here, but i saw one this year in my driveway, that was almost all brown as the amount of black stripping on him was so scarce and almost none existant, this leads me to believe, that as the commenter below states, that these are not always an accurate predictor of weather as the folklore goes, since it is already one of the coldest Falls and probably going to be the coldest winter here in NC as well on record, which means that this almost all brown one i saw should have been almost all black instead, to lend any kind of creedance to the validity of this folklore..... read more


On Oct 24, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Tend to be active in early to late fall - very noticeable. Bands on the caterpillars had nothing to do with winter. Very active, moving large distances from one area to the next, searching. I found one on the downstair deck and let it outside this year and then later found one (same or different?) coiled up on the tip of a blazing star (Liatris) then another day found one in the Cannas.


On Jul 24, 2007, tillysrat from Poulsbo, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I found a cluster of eggs on my buddia on June 10 2007
On June 21 2007 they have hatch.
I have been searching to find what they where. There are not any photos of the eggs. which made it hard to find, now that they are larger I findly could ID them. I will keep them until they turn to the next cycle the "moth"


On Jan 25, 2007, DiOhio from Corning, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Host Plants: (for larva Woolly Bear) is many plants including asters, birches, clover, corn, elms, maples, and sunflowers.

For the larva (Woolly Bear) colors change as the caterpillar molts to successive instars becoming less black and more reddish as they age, thus differences in color merely reflects age differences among larvae as they prepare to overwinter and are NOT a reliable indicator of the severity of the winter to come.

Larvae overwinter and come out on warm winter days. It is very difficult to rear these guys in captivity because of that reason.