Tag Archives: woolly bear

Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella)

Isabella tiger moth

Photo by Bill Reynolds

In its larval (caterpillar) stage, Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia Isabella) may be the most widely recognized moth in North America. Most of us have seen a woolly bear crossing a sidewalk, driveway, road, or parking lot. It has a densely bristly body that is black on both ends and orange in the middle. The adult is less conspicuous but equally distinctive. They are nocturnal and therefore rarely seen.

Folklore says that the size of the orange band predicts the severity of the coming winter, with wider bands forecasting a milder winter. This means of forecasting is probably as accurate as the Farmer’s Almanac, though not as accurate as the National Weather Service.