Family Erebidae Hodges # 8129
Caterpillar foods: many plants including grasses, asters, birches, clover, corn, elms, maples, milkweed and sunflowers (Bugguide) Also Liatris and Eupatorium altissimum (personal observations)
These are most familiar as Woolly Bear Caterpillars – the orange and black caterpillars that crawl on the ground in the fall and spring.
The caterpillars are amazingly resistant to the cold. This is one I found on the driveway on 3/21/2010
I brought it home, put it on the porch in the sun, and watched to see what would happen. First the ice crystals melted.
Then the caterpillar uncurled itself and started crawling away.
9/6/2008 Eating flowers of Liatris aspera
9/12/2008 Some pieces of the flower have gotten stuck on its hairs.
9/25/2017 Eating Tall Boneset (Eupatorium altissimum)