Predicting Winter Weather: Woolly Bear Caterpillars

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Woolly Bear

The woolly bear caterpillar—with its 13 distinct segments of black and reddish-brown—has the reputation of being able to forecast the coming winter weather.

Here are the history, facts, and lore about this legendary caterpillar.

How the Woolly Bear Became “Famous”

  • In the fall of 1948, Dr. C. H. Curran, curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, took his wife 40 miles north of the city to Bear Mountain State Park to look at woolly bear caterpillars.
  • Dr. Curran collected as many caterpillars as he could in a day, determined the average number of reddish-brown segments, and forecast the coming winter weather through a reporter friend at The New York Herald Tribune.
  • Dr. Curran’s experiment, which he continued over the next eight years, attempted to prove scientifically a weather rule of thumb that was as old as the hills around Bear Mountain. The resulting publicity made the woolly bear the most recognizable caterpillar in North America.

What is the Woolly Bear?

The caterpillar Curran studied, the true woolly bear, is the larval form of Pyrrharctia isabella, the Isabella tiger moth. See and share this picture of a woolly bear!

Here is more background:

  • This medium-size moth, with yellowish-orange and cream-colored wings spotted with black, is common from northern Mexico throughout the United States and across the southern third of Canada.
  • As moths go, the Isabella isn’t much to look at compared with other species, but its immature larva, called the black-ended bear or the woolly bear (and, throughout the South, woolly worm) is one of the few caterpillars most people can identify.
  • Woolly bears do not actually feel much like wool—they are covered with short, stiff bristles of hair.
  • In field guides, they’re found among the “bristled” species, which include the all-yellow salt marsh caterpillar and several species in the tiger moth family. Not all are ‘woolly bears!’
  • Woolly bears, like other caterpillars, hatch during warm weather from eggs laid by a female moth.
  • Mature woolly bears search for overwintering sites under bark or inside cavities of rocks or logs. (That’s why you see so many of them crossing roads and sidewalks in the fall.)
  • When spring arrives, woolly bears spin fuzzy cocoons and transform inside them into full-grown moths.
  • Typically, the bands at the ends of the caterpillar are black, and the one in the middle is brown or orange, giving the woolly bear its distinctive striped appearance.

Source: 

The 1999 Old Farmer's Almanac

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Southern Illinois

All black here.

Can't see info stated in title

Perhaps my phone isn't displaying pages correctly because all I can see is the information leading up to and including the facts and lore. I can't see any information that tells you how the colors predict the weather or what the colors mean. Maybe it's just my phone though.

Ohio- found an all black

Ohio- found an all black woolly bear! what does this mean! winter is approaching

animals

In the book of Job in the bible there is a verse were he says animals can teach us things Job 12 : 7 Niv bible .

woolly worm

I just saw an all-black woolly worm this evening. It was the first one I had ever seen. It was about 2-1/2 inches to 3 inches long and 1/2 inch to 1 inch wide. It was interesting to see but it gave me the creeps. I don't know where it went-- somewhere in the yard, I hope. I saw it go down the side of the porch but it backed up and was on the top of the porch again. However, I missed seeing it disappear!

NOV. 25, 2015

Black at both ends, brown in the middle. Rode in this evening when we brought in wood for our stove. Northern Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.

Solid Black in Tn this yr.

I've heard we will have the worst winter we've ever seen in our lifetimes this year, and the woolly worms I've seen so far agree....solid black on the Cumberland Plateau in TN. Everyone around here has been preparing for it this year, good luck everyone :)

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

I posted a picture of a woolly bear on my fb page I found while raking my backyard on Nov 9th..I put him on a Maple leaf ..He was totally BLACK ..I found my second woolly bear when I was doing my front leaves on Nov 14th lol ..Totally BLACK..The last time I found a totally black one was when we lived in north jersey..Lakewood NJ to be exact.The year was in the late 1990's we had 2 days of 20 inches of snow in one week.Now some Meteorologist say this is not true about the these caterpillars and their predictions to forecast the weather so who knows.All I do know is that I live in Folsom boro NJ and I wonder what the weather will be this winter..I have lived in South Jersey since 2006 and have never found a totally black one until now..Oh I have found them ever year since I have moved here but not totally BLACK..
Marguerite Geer's photo.

WHAT the crap!!!!!

Not one mention of what was discovered-WHAT F()*&&% waist of my time!!!!!!! If you going to write a head line, (Title) then you need to write a FULL explanation within you Article! Don't tell me that the bands had been studies; and then not tell me what the study proved. What are the values, of color, and width????????????????????????????????????

I live in southern southeast

I live in southern southeast AK, South end of Prince of Wales island,we have had yellow and black ones

SW Missouri

All black here

3 all black

We have seen 3 all black wooly bear caterpillars in our southwestern PA yard in the last week.

woolly bear

We have started seeing them here in Arkansas about a month ago.

Two black ones no brown on

Two black ones no brown on them at all in southern Ohio !

Woolly worms

I live in south central Ohio and have found all black also!

I saw a black woolly bear

I saw a black woolly bear what does it mean for winter here in pa

Seen two solid black wooly

Seen two solid black wooly worms in Eastern ky

Wolly Bears

I have seen several in our back yard and one in the front just yesterday and each one was a solid black. Northwest Indiana!

With all the dumb things That

With all the dumb things That the government pay for students to research this is a good one to do.

Saw my first for this year...

Saw my first wooly bear for this year today in Mansfield,Ohio. It had a long red/orange band in the middle and the front and end was black. Hope it is a mild winter,not looking forward to driving to the doctors or grocery bath is winter with all this new road work going on around town. I also saw another one under a pine bush curled up like it was dead,didn't try to make it stretch out like its friend was more than happy to do on my hand but it also had a long red/orange band with short black ends.

wooly bear worms

Recently, my husband saw a solid white one. What does that mean?

white woolly worms

I believe the white woolly worm is a different type! They need to be the type pictured above.

Woolly bear catepillar

I've believe this to be true. I've been watching these guys for 50 years and have never known them to fail.

I found a 100% WHITE wooly

I found a 100% WHITE wooly bear in Ohio. No kidding and I took pictures if you are interested.
I wondered if it meant an easy winter OR a frigid and long winter.
Time does tell all.
Thanks
Scott Wing
September 25, 2015

09-25-15 I have seen 5 white

09-25-15 I have seen 5 white wooly bears in the last 2 weeks. I live in Almond, NY ( southern tier near the PA border) What does the white mean?

Folklore says that a white

Folklore says that a white woolly worm is a sign of a snowy winter.

To our knowledge, there is no white form of the banded woollybear (woolly worm), which is the orange and black caterpillar that folklore normally associates with winter weather predictions. However, there are several caterpillar species that can be fuzzy and white or cream, sometimes with spots or tufts of a different color. As one example, the caterpillar of the Virginia Tiger Moth (Spilosoma virginica), called the Yellow Woollybear, can appear all white or all pale yellow or cream. It is in the same family as the banded woollybear, but a different genus. It can be found throughout most of North America.

I found my first 2 WW's this

I found my first 2 WW's this weekend! I am up high in the mountains in southern New Mexico.

Unfortunately, for the third year in a row the WW's are extremely fat and sassy but no orange color!! ;{ Which means no snow................. AGAIN

Near Illinois / Wisconsin

Near Illinois / Wisconsin border, I found my first wooly worm with an extremely narrow black band near the head and the rest was rusty brown. Seems to match mild winter predicted for the Great Lakes region this year. Hoping for another relatively mild winter like last year when the wooly worms were mostly brown.

I found a blonde wooly worm

I found a blonde wooly worm on my door, never seen one before

I found a white one today, I

I found a white one today, I live in Virginia and I've never seen a white one before.

I've been tracking the woolly

I've been tracking the woolly bear caterpillars for over 23 years. In all those years, the prediction was wrong twice. One of those errors being last years prediction.. I do believe in woolly bears, I do believe.

I live in southwestern

I live in southwestern Pennsylvania I just seen a all red or light in color woolly bear but it looked young so don't know if it will get black on the ends before the summer is over, does anyone know?

Found a white wooley in ohio

Found a white wooley in ohio today

What did yours look like?

What did yours look like? Just seen our first one today! Ours was COMPLETELY orange. In past several yrs it's been thick black bands w little orange, remember last winter how bad it was here, WW said awful winter. We are eastern central Ohio.

Found a big fat thick wolly

Found a big fat thick wolly bear worm on my porch today. What does that gonna mean for Kentucky's winter?

Found a woolly bear

Found a woolly bear caterpillar on brick of house tody
It was all a rust color with no black at all.
Ontario Canada, Very mild winter coming if coloring & Almanac is correct.

Ah now I see what these

Ah now I see what these things are .

They're crawling all over the place here at the horse ranch .

Recently moved out to the corn fields from a major city and never seen so much wildlife all at once , all right in front of ya .

This past fall was the wooly invasion .

Didn't know exactly what they were so I basically left them alone .

I do know there will be plenty of them moths this coming spring and summer .

That is alright , the reason why I moved out here is to get away from the corruption , greed , drugs and crime and that is just in the police department .

I found one on my old

I found one on my old christmas tree I was like "yayay" and then I got it and put it in a box so yaaaaa......... anyways it was black and in the middle it was redish orangeish brownish all mixed together can anyone tell me what kind of caterpillar it is and if its poisonious

Seen an all black wooly bear

Seen an all black wooly bear caterpillar 3 inches long an really bushy seen another by my house again another black one this is in Allentown, PA.

when did you find a all black

when did you find a all black wooly bear

I just found a black and

I just found a black and brown wooly bear catapillar We are having that strong winter storm on v day here in southern maryland. Should i bring this guy insince we r havingbelow zero. tonight and the next week. Wont he freeze? What do i do?????

I FOUND AN ALL BLACK ONE ON

I FOUND AN ALL BLACK ONE ON CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND, VIRGINIA. BLACK SEEMS TO BE THE NEW TWO TONE FOR THIS WINTER SEASON!

We are in St. Louis, MO &

We are in St. Louis, MO & just found one in the house that is about 1/3 brown in the middle. We'll probably have a harsh winter but not as bad as the worst. Hope everyone has a safe season!!

We found one north of

We found one north of Toronto, Ontario with a tiny patch of brown! Looks like it's going to be a cold winter!

I found an all black one

I found an all black one crawling on my pillow about to crawl on my arm ewww

And this was in Southeast

And this was in Southeast Texas

Well folks...just found one

Well folks...just found one in Orlando, FL. Almost all black. Not looking forward to a cold winter!!

Found one in New Jersey, also

Found one in New Jersey, also almost all black! Bundle up!!

Here in Beebeetown, IA (by

Here in Beebeetown, IA (by Missouri Valley) the single brown stripe takes up over half of all our Wooly's bodies. I hope they don't freeze because it is 11degrees out now at 8am Nov. 12, 2014. Expected high for today is low 20's.

found a wooly bear

found a wooly bear caterpillar at the wyndotte county lake and i have to admit theyre pretty but i have read some articles and i think they can sting you ande cause a painful burn, so be careful with them.

I am in the Baltimore suburbs

I am in the Baltimore suburbs and have a solid black woolly that decided to hang out in our garage for the last 4 days. Today, It finally moved about 8 feet along the wall, right towards our door-to come inside!

Just found an all black wooly

Just found an all black wooly bear about 1.5 inches in suburbs of Pittsburgh PA!

Just saw the largest wooley

Just saw the largest wooley bear Ive ever seen moving across my driveway around 3" long and completely black, first time Ive ever seen that. Central NJ. Seems fitting since this is about the coldest November I can remember.

Are all these fully black

Are all these fully black woollies? Or another species like the one with light red "stripes" on the body below the black hairs. I've never seen an all black but will keep on alert. Woollies are one of my most favorite childhood memories as I raised them often. When I see them they make my day!

I have not seen as many

I have not seen as many woolly worns as usual..we live in a rual area in Tennessee...however the three that I have seen have been ALL BLACK. Not looking forward to the winter. Good luck to all.

Oh no we're screwed this

Oh no we're screwed this winter - I too saw an all black Woolly worm this past weekend in SE Pennsylvania. In fact that's how I ended up on this site.

Last fall I found a couple with narrow orange and we had a pretty significant winter. We're in for a treat this winter!

I found an all black one

I found an all black one today in N.E Indiana.

Found a very large all black

Found a very large all black one in Nashville TN. Absolutely no reddish brown coloring. Heating bill will to be just delightful this year

I just found a black wooly

I just found a black wooly worm in my laundry room where the cold garage is, it was all ball up. Virginia Beach

Found a fat, all black one in

Found a fat, all black one in the basement. About 2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Never seen one so big.

Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Northwestern Pennsylvania.

I was in Arden Delaware

I was in Arden Delaware yesterday and found the most interesting thing. I found a TALKING, dark-black, Wooly Bear! He told me, "Tom, he says, last winter was mild compared to this coming winter, because, you see Global-Warming is being 'caused' by you humans and because of this fact the winters MUST be getting colder; due, of course, by the increasing CO2; from all the cows passing gas and too many fireplaces in Nevada and If people can't get their facts straight on this fact we 'Wooly-caterpillars,'should put you ALL in jail! He did not even take a breath!

He didn't "Gore" you when you

He didn't "Gore" you when you picked him up, I hope...
All the woolly bears I've seen in central Ahia this year
have been solid black. Eight cords of firewood split,
a full fuel oil tank, three 4x4s ( one with a plow),
a 4x4 atv with plow and I'm retired. Now, if I don't
answer the phone.....

I was driving home yesterday

I was driving home yesterday from Quincy Illinois to Columbia Missouri, and I seen hundred's of these caterpillars on the highway.

Here in St. Louis i found a

Here in St. Louis i found a totaly black wooly catapillar. Currious, I read the article now the wide brown stripes mean warm winter? Oh well time to get out the long johns, stoke up the fire and find a girlfriend. We were due for the 20 year storms last year I hope for them to taper for a while.

I saw an all black wooly bear

I saw an all black wooly bear in Winston-Salem, NC today. My friend said that means it will be a cold, snowy winter.

i also found a all black

i also found a all black wooly on my porch Lancaster area pa oct 23 2014

All black one found in my

All black one found in my driveway just now.... Selbyville Delaware..you have been put on alert!

I saw an all black wooly bear

I saw an all black wooly bear when I went to vote, on the sidewalk in front of the polling place. I knew about the legend, and thought, oh, my, we are in for a harsh winter.

I found an almost all black

I found an almost all black one in Charlotte, NC today.

Saw my first Woolly Bear of

Saw my first Woolly Bear of the season this morning. All black here in Houston. Around here a good cold winter would be welcomed.

After looking through these

After looking through these comments, I have to ask: did anyone even bother to read the article?

I believe you are correct.

I believe you are correct. Nobody has read this article at all.

I did read the article, but I

I did read the article, but I prefer the original interpretation. Last winter was bitterly cold and killed my rose bush!

I, too, lost 2 of 3 rose

I, too, lost 2 of 3 rose bushes. I'll pile leaves around the base of the survivor (who ain't lookin' so hot...)

I read the article. A great

I read the article. A great read. The most important thing to remember is that wooly bear worms predict weather a year in advance.So,what did that butterfly in 2014 look like in late Summer of 2013?

Here in Elkhart, IN I have

Here in Elkhart, IN I have seen three Woolly Bears so far this year. Two have been all blond and one has been all black. According to my family folklore, this means a very snowy and cold winter. Actually, LAST year was a very snowy, cold winter. In fact one of the worst since 1978. These Woolly Bears are very big, very fat and very fuzzy. If it is going to be a mild winter, they are highly overdressed.

Hoosier wooly worms always

Hoosier wooly worms always overdress.But they're pretty in the Spring!

I have seen about 100 plus

I have seen about 100 plus white wooly worms 2 days ago in a place were u might see one

Albino? Came across an all

Albino? Came across an all White WOOLLY last week. Any ideas? Maybe the heavy snow forecast is correct? Haven't seen any with black this fall. Mostly light Brown. NE Ohio.

Beware of the 'all-white

Beware of the 'all-white woolly'! He's not a woolly worm; instead, he's a poisonous caterpillar that will sting you big time! The 'woolly worm' has a black head and tail, and may have a burnt-orange body with some black covering. All-black covering means he needs to absorb enough heat to survive a cold winter.

I saw a wooly bear today

I saw a wooly bear today (just one, mind you) and it had NO black on it at all - it was all the reddish brown from head to tail. Maybe it wasn't a wooly bear, but it sure looked like one. And the almanac is predicting a cold winter for us up here in upstate NY. So I don't think this wooly bear knows what's coming! ;-)

All reddish brown here as

All reddish brown here as well (central Ohio). I'll keep my shorts out.

what happens when you find

what happens when you find one and its pure light brown/ blonde with absolutely no dark colors on it?

I found one of these 3 years

I found one of these 3 years ago and we had the mildest Winter in years. Auburn Hills, Mich. just north of Detroit.

This year so far mostly black on the head end and longer than the rear like this BBBBBBBLKBBBRNBBBBLK

However my S-I-L found one solid Black Not looking forward to a Winter repeat of last year!!

Here in southwestern PA today

Here in southwestern PA today I found a Woolley worm that has very little black on its head and tail so is mostly the brownish orange color.

Yes i think so because my dad

Yes i think so because my dad said "When my grandma said that when the Woolly Bears were black that means that we're gonna have a very bad winter and guess what? Pretty much she was right" and all i see was a solid black Woolly Bear so i think we're gonna have a bad snowsquall.

Shh, I am not looking forward

Shh, I am not looking forward to a long & harsh winter.

I saw my first 2 woolly bear

I saw my first 2 woolly bear caterpillars of the season yesterday. They seem to be equally brown and black...hm-m-m-m-m!

I've seen about three dozen

I've seen about three dozen or so in Northern WI and they are solid black end to end. Big fat caterpillars = lots of wood to cut.

I live in Shawnee Kansas and

I live in Shawnee Kansas and found my first woolly bear caterpillar of 2014. Much to my surprise it was completely black, does anyone know how to read a woolly bear caterpillar's colors, and if so could you please tell me what it means.
Thanks.

According to folklore, the

According to folklore, the more black on the woolly worm caterpillar, the more harsh the coming winter. Some people read the caterpillar, which has 13 sets of bristles along the body, as corresponding to 13 weeks of winter. Each set of bristles corresponds to a week of winter. But either way you read it, the all-black means a harsh winter--that is, unless you've found a caterpillar that is pulling your leg!
As the article states above, though, scientists have found that the color is affected by several factors, including the age of the caterpillar and the environmental conditions of the past winter.

I to seen my first all Black

I to seen my first all Black Woolly Bear located in Doylestown,Ohio. In the past I have always seen Woolly Bears with brown stripes. From what I have been reading it looks like Shawnee Kansas and Northern Ohio might have a bad wimter. Hurray I love winter.

Saw my first tonight in

Saw my first tonight in Kansas City, KS and its entirely black. I guess from what I'm reading, folklore says it's gonna be a HARSH winter.

I saw one black front brown

I saw one black front brown center black rear

I'm in Belton MO, and seen 2

I'm in Belton MO, and seen 2 today that are mostly brown with a little black at each end.

Just found my first woolly

Just found my first woolly bear of the season yesterday here in NE Ohio & it is mostly copper/orange with a little black on both ends which could mean a milder winter this season. I won't complain especially after last year's brutal weather!!

I saw a completely black one

I saw a completely black one while out and about this weekend. I'm in the Saint Louis area.

i just saw my first wooly

i just saw my first wooly bear of the season and it too was all black. i love winter so im hoping this is at least a little true :D

oh and im from alabama

oh and im from alabama

Seems like two indicators of

Seems like two indicators of heavy snowfall in Alabama: (1) The black fuzzy worm, and, (2) Oklahoma stomping the Tide. Just kidding. Used to live outside of Tuscaloosa.

in north carolina

in north carolina mountains... i found a tiny baby wooley in JULY...it was all black!!

I found 2 wooly bears this

I found 2 wooly bears this summer they were tiny. I made them a home and fed them iceburg lettuce. They
y have grown to an inch or more. Will put them in the garage over winter. Can't wait to see the moth come spring.

I saw my first woolly bear in

I saw my first woolly bear in years munching away on a blackberry leaf, and it was all orange. If it predicted last winter as one suggested, it is close. we had a mild winter and unusually dry and hot summer here in the pacific northwest.

I am in SW Washington State.

I am in SW Washington State. I have seen hundreds of these Woolly Bears over the past month. They were uniformly black and brown.

Hey these caterpillars need

Hey these caterpillars need to freeze solid over winter as cruel as it sounds. Otherwise they will moth early and not make it.

I found a wooly bear that was

I found a wooly bear that was all orange except for its black head, all the ones where i live are orange in the middle and black on each end. what does this mean?

found 2 that were the same as

found 2 that were the same as yours all orange live in cortland manor

Isabella caterpillars have

Isabella caterpillars have bands of varying widths -- all in the same locality and same year. Go figure!!

Black woolybears have black hairs covering the body. Fun to handle. Their hairs are really stiff.

Saltmarsh caterpillars have MANY color phases. Yes, some are white, others yellowish, some even dark. Sometimes this species is considered to be a crop pest -- defoliator. Google this species, and enjoy its variability. Their hairs are long and soft.

I see the brown and black

I see the brown and black ones all the time and i enjoy having them around. I always help them by pickin them up so no one runs them over when they cross the road. There such wonderful creatures its a shame when people kill them. I hope they are harmless cause ive touched them all my life and ive never been harmed.

Just saw my first Wooly Worm

Just saw my first Wooly Worm of the season...we live near Louisville...he's ALL brown!!! What kind of winter are we in for?

during July of 2014, I have

during July of 2014, I have found 3 of these creatures. I have NEVER seen one in this area before September. Their bands looked normal, but I think we are in for an early winter, at least in Kansas.

wooly bears cannot predict

wooly bears cannot predict winter. their coloring and thickness of hair may be because of different species, or even just because of different regions from which they are found.

July 5, 2014. I am very aware

July 5, 2014. I am very aware of the Wooly Worm. For years I have see all black, all brown or black & brown.
While picking beans, I lifted a vine and on the main stalk was a WHITE Wooly Worm. What I saw, I saw. It was a Wooly Worm, only WHITE. I left it alone to feast on anything it likes.

I just found an all white one

I just found an all white one in my yard this evening. This is the third one I've seen in this area - Dublin, Ohio area. The other two were at an area park. I've never seen a completely white one before, so I'm curious what this means.

the all white ones are a

the all white ones are a different species than the orange and black ones.

I also saw an all white (or

I also saw an all white (or blonde) one also in Grandview Heights, Ohio. It was climbing on a wooden fence near my neighbor's vegetable garden. I tried to find a photo of it online, but none matched it. It was about 4-5 inches long and looked like an off-white/tanish wooly worm caterpillar. If I see it again I will take a photo and send it to OSU entomology dept for identification.

The fuzzy white with the

The fuzzy white with the black stripe are not woolly worms! Do not touch them either, they will give a bad stinging and itching rash, worse than a bee sting. Spotted one today in Banner Elk, NC.

To Samsambog, I heartily

To Samsambog, I heartily agree with you! I am from Burnsville, NC, and these white worms are not woolly worms, and really WILL sting you! The Woolly Worm has a black head and tail because these ends must absorb heat for the worm to survive. These ends must NOT freeze solid. The more black covering, the more the worm absorbs heat, so an all-black worm will absorb more heat over winter.

Saw an all yellow one

Saw an all yellow one last
September , north fork Long Island . Just saw my second Woolley mostly brown in color.

I also found a white wooly

I also found a white wooly worm this season. I have never seen one before!

What is an all white wooly

What is an all white wooly worm??? I am in central Illinois and just found a large amount resting on my shrubs. Never seen white ones before. Is there a way I could also attach a picture or do you know what it is without further identification needed.

There are several varieties

There are several varieties of caterpillars that look like the woolly worm but are whitish. For example, the Virginian tiger moth caterpillar (Spilosoma virginica) is called the yellow woolly bear, which can range from white or pale yellow to reddish or brownish yellow.
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Spilosoma-virginica
http://bugguide.net/node/view/498
Or, there is something called The Laugher, with a black head (Charadra deridens)
http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/insects/cateast/charderi.htm
http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Caterpillars
The American dagger moth (Acronicta americana) also has a fuzzy white caterpillar, with black tufts and a black head.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/574806
The sycamore tussock moth (Halysidota harrisii) has orange and white tufts on cream to white fuzzy body, and an orange head.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/423
The Hickory tussock moth (Lophocampa caryae) has black tufts and a black area along its back:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/5690
https://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/insects/hickory_tussock_moth.htm
Hope this helps! Happy sleuthing!

You might want to add this

You might want to add this information about other fuzzy caterpillars to the article since it's clear most people commenting haven't seen it. Also, there are all black fuzzy caterpillars such as Hypercompe scribonia which are out and about at the same time as Pyrrharctia isabella.

I just found one of these in

I just found one of these in my garden find it strange as I live in the uk is it normal for them to be here

what happens when you cant

what happens when you cant get the spikes out are they poisonous,harmful will i get finger cut off!!!!?!? please dont tell how much you love these worms or when they evolve. email me babylondanko@gmail.com asap thank you soo much please inform me!

yeah danny their venomous and

yeah danny their venomous and these wanna cute worms should be instinct. Benadryl, Cortesone cream and adhesive tape should be applied. So yeah all these people waste insignificance words about these abomination creatures.

Wow how ignorant and your

Wow how ignorant and your total inability to spell further proves it. It's a harmless little creature if anything an interesting way to educate children on one of the many miracles of nature. Educate yourself while you're at it clearly you are in desperate need.

The list of signs and

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Common Woolly Bear moth caterpillar poisoning includes the 12 symptoms listed below:

Pain at site of sting
Itchy skin
Urticaria Skin rash
Localized skin redness
Eye inflammation - eye exposure
Light sensitivity - eye exposure Hypersensitivity reaction
Bronchitis - inhalation exposure Bronchospasm - inhalation exposure Wheezing - inhalation exposure Conjunctivitis - eye exposure

Hi. Just found two of these

Hi. Just found two of these guys on the side of the garage. After the freezing weather we had in Ohio this week I cant believe anything is still alive out there. Does anyone know what they eat?

Just get a cricket container

Just get a cricket container at the pet store and put some organic lettuce, apple peels and other greens and a little cotton ball with water and let him spend the winter indoors.

Online is more advice on how to create a home for him until he turns into a beautiful moth in the spring. Then release him back into his environment!

They are vegetarians, so

They are vegetarians, so leafy greens are good, plus they like grapes and apples.

I just found one of these on

I just found one of these on a snowbank in my yard! It's alive so what do I do with it? Put him back outside? It's 30 degrees here in ME!

No! Don't put him outside. I

No! Don't put him outside. I found 3 in my garage and made a home for them in a huge bowl with dirt and sticks. One if them just went into the cocoon thingy. Very cool.

I did the same, I put him in

I did the same, I put him in a bowl and put leaves and plant sticks, etc in with him. We'll see in the spring how he made the winter....

Thank you for this post, I

Thank you for this post, I just found one outside next to the snow bank and wondered what I should do with him/her....:)

I found a Wolly Bear

I found a Wolly Bear catipillar but I don't know how I predicts the weather. My sisters teacher said it predicts the weather. Can somebody please tell me how it predicts the weather?

Really? Did you actually READ

Really? Did you actually READ the article? No wonder common-core is kicking your butt!!

*whooosh...footprint*

Legend has it that the more

Legend has it that the more brown they have versus black, means that you are suppose to have a milder winter.I don't think it's very true ,because I have one in a plant in the house and his brown takes up half if his body and winter hasn't been the mildest.

You need to get at least two

You need to get at least two of them in a container and borrow a stethoscope from a doctor and listen to them talk. Most speak Spanish because they come from Mexico. The ones found in the USA are bilingual though.
No, the number of rings on their back let you know how bad the winter WAS. They are broken down into 13 segments so the more "red segments" the harsher the winter WAS.

they cant. its just a rumor.

they cant. its just a rumor.

Northern VA here and just saw

Northern VA here and just saw a woolly bear yesterday that was mostly orange. Very little black ends. Although I love snow, I do hope the little caterpillar folklore is true. Just not in the mood this season for a lot of shoveling. Although it makes more sense that this would be a sign for the previous Winter. We did have a fairly mild one last year.

I live in Cedar Hill, Texas,

I live in Cedar Hill, Texas, and we saw about five all black wolly bears crawling around by the flower garden. Snow would be wonderful, just no ice please.

Over the weekend I was in

Over the weekend I was in McKinney State Park south of Austin. Saw 5 woolly's and all were completely black. Come on snow!

I found a woolly caterpillar

I found a woolly caterpillar in my house 10 days ago. It could have dropped off a house plant. It is freezing outside so I put it in a large aerated container with twigs, leaves and moisture. It seems active and healthy so far. It's color at first was a faint purple but now seems all black. Will it spin a chrysalis ?
Should I keep it until the Spring ? What should I give it to eat ?

I just found one in my

I just found one in my hallway at the entrance and killed it. I didn't know what it was. I thought it was one of the fuzzy balls my seven year old had brought home from school. I was going to save it for her but then it felt weird when I touched it because it didn't feel a toy. I squeezed it, the shape changed. I squeezed again not knowing what I am touching yellow stuff started coming out of it, that is how I knew it was a bug. I came and looked on line what it could be and that is how I know what I just killed. If there is another one in the house would it harm anything or I shouldn't worry.

it's very cool

it's very cool

We were just at our farm in

We were just at our farm in Sadieville, Ky and witnessed hundreds of "wooly bear/worms" with predominantly brown bands. Warm late fall as well. Looks like we might see reasonable winter.

For the first time, I have

For the first time, I have seen many all black wooly bears this year. I guess they are young? Forecasters are predicting a snowy winter for us in the mid-Atlantic...according to myth, we should have a very mild winter. Shows you what they know!

I'm from upstate n.y. & we

I'm from upstate n.y. & we walk our boxer everyday on the Erie Canal trail & we see them all the time , I will say there is lil black n lots of orange/brown in the center ....

u should get a couple to keep

u should get a couple to keep as a pet and play with them and care 4 them so they turn into butterflies and they eat leaves grass and milk weeds so they eat and turn into a cocoon and then a butterflies!!!!! :D oh ya im taking care of 1 we found him to day i named him bunnicula.

I live on Delmarva and all

I live on Delmarva and all the wooly bears here have a wide brown stripe with narrower black stripes at each end. I hope this is a good predictor of a mild winter.

I live in Delaware and we

I live in Delaware and we have had a lot of these caterpillars everywhere and all of them had a large brown stripe. We have already had a foot of snow and 6 inches more are on the way. So who knows???

I've been in Upper Bucks

I've been in Upper Bucks County, Pa. (SE Pa.) since Halloween. I walk my Golden's 3x a day in the woods and fields behind where I am staying. All of the Wooly Bears that I have spotted had a very narrow brown band OR were all Black! This is the first time I have ever seen an all Black Wooly. Just in case, my dogs and I are leaving the area for a sunny California climate.

Well, it looks to me as if

Well, it looks to me as if the all Black Wooly won out in predicting a bad winter. S.E. Pennsylvania has had numerous record setting days as well as more 6"(+)snow storms (by Jan 30) than we have had in Years! We still have February coming and traditionally that has been the month with the most snow! I came back to Pa. and Vt. to visit and now I am headed back to Northern California where their own weather records are being set!

i live in akron ohio i have

i live in akron ohio i have seen 2 of the wooly bears both have had very little black mostly orange /brown hope they are right dont want to much snow here

Just spotted the fist whooly

Just spotted the fist whooly bear of the season here in Fort Wayne IN. He was a beautiful black and brown. His middle section of brown took up way more than a third of his body... Mild winted maybe ??!! :-) We will see.. Happy fall everyone.

I saw my first wolly worm

I saw my first wolly worm here in Cookeville Tn. on the golf coarse today.Small black bank on each end and 3/4 of worm brown.

Ive seen the same in CT. and

Ive seen the same in CT. and we have about 3ft. of snow so far this yr.

I've been seeing Tons of

I've been seeing Tons of woolly worms in the past month! I live in Northwest Indiana, and I see them crossing the Roads all over!

I live in Salisbury, NC and

I live in Salisbury, NC and my husband and I have seen 2 solid black wooly worms in the last week. I hope this means snow. Just no ice, please.

I live in Kansas City MO. I

I live in Kansas City MO. I found one all black wooly worm living in basement. Sill alive after two weeks.

My husband and I just seen a

My husband and I just seen a completely black wooly bear in Falling Waters, WV. NEVER seen full black before.
Of course, my husband is hoping for a lot of snow as always!

In Northeast Oklahoma Just

In Northeast Oklahoma
Just saw the first woolly worm this year,his color is solid burnt orange.However our pressimon seeds are all spoon shaped.We have not had a winter in 2 years now and would really like to see a little snow.

10/26/13 - Near Philly, WOLLY

10/26/13 - Near Philly, WOLLY BEAR Invasion! All the ones I've seen were mostly brown/orange with very little black on them, put away the sleds kids and don't count on too many snow days, IF the little buggers can hopefully be believed!

Read an article that says the

Read an article that says the black are not the banded woolly bear.

"People, however, can be mistaken into thinking there will be a harsh winter because they looked at the wrong caterpillar.
"There is a pure black woolly bear relative that is often confused with the banded woolly bear," Raupp said."

The one's I have been seeing in southern Ohio are a bit more than 1/3 brown or orange, black at both ends.

That is what I have been

That is what I have been seeing here in Alabama too!! I have never seen this many before, so I am trying to figure out what that is telling me. They are all over my porch area, and a lot of them! I am trying to figure out the cause or reason. They are brown, orange in the middle with thick black stripes on the end.

Okay....now yer tellin' me

Okay....now yer tellin' me that the fuzzy lil buggers are wearing disguises?

This would indicate it's

This would indicate it's random: "http://www.weatherworksinc.com/woolly-bear-winter"

We have found a lot of all black wooly bear caterpillars this year in north east Ohio. Guess that means we have lots of YOUNG ones?

We just saw one on our

We just saw one on our welcome mat this afternoon, and after the bad rain storm we had in Southern PA a couple of weeks ago there were a whole bunch around. I haven't seen them in years, and now all of a sudden they're everywhere. So much for another mild winter :(

In S.W. Virginia here,

In S.W. Virginia here, started to see the woolly bear near the end of Sept. and at that time they were all burnt orange/brown in color. But now there are a ton of them everywhere, and they are all solid black.. and a few with hardly any brownish orange color to them. Guess that means bad winter here. And this has been passed down for years, and has always been right.

Here at JB-MDL in central NJ

Here at JB-MDL in central NJ there is a woolly bear invasion over the past two weeks the likes of which has not been seen in the previous 8 years. We normally see a few dozen over a two-three week period, but this year there are thousands of them, everywhere. Most have 7 to 9 brown segments with two or three black at the front and rear. A few are all brown except for the head which is black. They are very cool critters!

Here near the beach

Here near the beach (Milford,CT) we have had an invasion of woolly bears in last 2 weeks also. About 8 segments are brown w/2-3 black at front & rear. Hope the 'folklore' is true...don't want another 4 foot snowstorm !!!

Hey Sean, do they have ticks

Hey Sean, do they have ticks too? Just retired this past summer. Last duty station, JB MDL. Ticks were terrible there... oh by the way, agree, they are cool critters.

Have recently started to see

Have recently started to see them and they range from very little black to about 1/4 front and back. Today saw one that was mostly brown. Hope the 'folklore' holds true.

In Maryland, I've seen a lot

In Maryland, I've seen a lot more of these guys than in recent years. I'm looking at an all-black one as I type.

In VA, I haven't seen so many

In VA, I haven't seen so many as I have in years past. They seem mostly black with very little brown.

We live on the Eastern Shore

We live on the Eastern Shore and are having a lot more striped woolly bears then usual. I have not seen an all black one either.

I just realized today I

I just realized today I haven't seen any yet this year and was curious about that.

I counted 63 on my walk today

I counted 63 on my walk today and I only started counting halfway through the walk!

Just saw the 1st one this

Just saw the 1st one this season(10/20/13), probably 2/3 brown and 1/6 black at each end;hope Dec.thru Feb. will be mild! Year before last could hardly walk in the yard for all the acorns and nut shells--bad winter.Last year very few--not so bad! Also the squirrels' tails are not longer and thicker as in cold years past. I'm in Burlington in Northern KY.

I live in southwest Ohio and

I live in southwest Ohio and I've seen several all black woolly. I had never seen that before. They always had brown bands.

Same here in extreme southern

Same here in extreme southern MI (right on the OH & IN lines)! I came across this article b/c we were talking about what in the world a pure black woolly bear meant, since no one else had ever seen one, either. Sounds like we're in for a doozy of a Winter! :/

I pulled down several Kung

I pulled down several Kung Pau plants that I had hanging in my garage to pick the peppers. After several plants I found a wooly bear crawling up the step below me. It is 3/4 brown/beige with small amounts of black on each end. I live between Cincinnati and Dayton, OH.

We have wolley bears

We have wolley bears everywhere... everywhere.

i have never seen so many

i have never seen so many wooley bears in my life, scared or ready for some fun, kev

I just found a wooly bear he

I just found a wooly bear he has very little black on him /her.. I live in south central PA near the MD line. I would have to say that if the color bands are an indication of weather I would have to say that the woolly bears bands are based on previous winter because we had a very mild winter last year and the woolly bear I found last year had more black on it then brown. So winter of 2011/2012 was much snowier and harsh than the winter of 2012/2013. Just my thoughts on what I have viewed with the woolly bear..

TriState area, NW Virginia.

TriState area, NW Virginia. Our wolly bears are mostly dark reddish brown with black heads and tails.

I too just saw a wooly bear

I too just saw a wooly bear with very little black in southern Indiana--Bloomington, IN. If this predicts this coming winter, it will be mild, if this is based on the previous winter, it is true--our winter was very mild 2012-1013. Am anxious to see how the 2013-2014 winter will go---I love winter as long as I don't have to drive in it!

I saw two woolie bear

I saw two woolie bear caterpillers brown on both ends and black in the center .Is this normel all the pictures we see are the other way around

My co-worker and I each have

My co-worker and I each have seen one in the last week and it was black on each end and brown in the middle!

I've seen 6 or 7 in the past

I've seen 6 or 7 in the past few weeks in my area. All have had a wide brown/orange mid section with much smaller head and butt sections. A mild winter would be much appreciated!

isawtwowooliecatapallersbrown

isawtwowooliecatapallersbrownwithblackinthecenter

Black wolly worms mean alot

Black wolly worms mean alot of snow and cold.My dad taught me his years ago and has always came true.

October 15th - wooly bear all

October 15th - wooly bear all brown!!! Hopefully a nice mild winter in Vermont this year!!

10/16/13 I too just seen 7

10/16/13

I too just seen 7 under my flower pot, having mostly brown with head and butt with little black. I hope these little guys are true to mild winter :-)

I just captured one that

I just captured one that somehow got into my living room, curled up tight while I vaccuumed. This one was pretty much all black, just a hint of rustiness to the central body hairs. We'll see if this snow town in Vt gets buried this year, unlike last!

Lots of black on them in N.E.

Lots of black on them in N.E. Pa...

In Dunkirk/Fredonia area in

In Dunkirk/Fredonia area in Ny. We have been seeing all black ones. Does that means we will have bad winter? Something like 1977 winter?

If you see alot of black

If you see alot of black willy worms then there will be alot of snow and cold. Doug Miller

All the wooly bears were

All the wooly bears were black and a couple of them were black orange black and there are thousands up here in Crossville,Tennessee.:(

Today (10/12/13) there were

Today (10/12/13) there were about a half-dozen or so woolly bears inside the barn (SE Wisconsin). Most had medium to large burnt-orange middle sections. One was mostly burnt-orange with only narrow head and butt segments being black.

We have been seeing tons of

We have been seeing tons of these lil fuzzy bears here in Ostego county New York. All are brown as brown can be and little black on both sides so this is a great sign. As a hunter im out in the woods all the time always watching mother nature and pay special attention to the these little guys and this year we have more than usual.Hopefully they are right we can sure use a very mild winter..

Found an orange and black

Found an orange and black this morning. 3 black bands near butt, 6 orange bands through body, 1 black near head, and 1 band orange at the head. But he was VERY wooly. Manhattan, KS.

I opened a cabinet in my

I opened a cabinet in my bedroom and there on the side was a big caterpillar. I had never seen one like it before, especially in the house so I called my husband in from outside. He has gloves on already so he picked him up. The caterpillar rolled up into a ball and was half black half orange. It was so pretty it looked like a pompom so we took him out front and put him on a plant. Hope it means a warm winter here in Wyoming.

Seeing black on both ends and

Seeing black on both ends and middle brown here in southeastern Mi. since early September. NO solid black..very relieved! :-)

All (except for one) of the

All (except for one) of the woolly bears I've seen in Woodstock, CT, have been completely black.

All of the wooly bears I've

All of the wooly bears I've seen (and photographed) in South Central Michigan this fall are completely black. Should I head to Florida immediately?

Big solid black beautiful one

Big solid black beautiful one today at West Point, NY.

Sorry but I live in and

Sorry but I live in and around Calhoun and Jackson County and the ones here I have seen since Sept 2013 are more brown than black so must be exactly where you are living.

lotsa black woolys here in

lotsa black woolys here in Oceana County,Michigan,,we will see if the folklore about bad winters is true,,,soon

From SE Michigan, just saw

From SE Michigan, just saw one in my garden. It looked exactly like the picture at the top of this article (mostly brown with tiny black on each end), so cute!

I don't know if you should

I don't know if you should head to Florida. It was in the 20's this morning and I found a solid black wooly yesterday in my garage here in the Florida Panhandle.

Found a wooly bear today! I

Found a wooly bear today! I was so excited, I haven't found one since I was a kid. I live in Albany NY area, the amount of rust/black color was pretty evenly split but maybe a tad bit more black.

We have a lot of these little

We have a lot of these little guys crawling around the ramp at our airport in Ogdensburg NY. Most of them have a long brown middle section with two small black portions on the end. Hopefully they are right and we wont have to de-ice the Cape Air planes as often this year!!

Oh. My. Gosh. I just found

Oh. My. Gosh.

I just found this adorable little guy on my porch. He/she's a strange mix of colors. Black head, thin chestnut brown stripe just behind, an the rest is white. Is that a wooly bear or what?

It's not a woolly bear. It's

It's not a woolly bear. It's a hickory tussock moth caterpillar. The two long, sharp, black pencil-like hairs protrude near the front and rear of it are connected to poison glands, which excrete venom on contact. Contact with the venom does not generally cause too much of a problem. A nettle or poison ivy-type rash often occurs, which can range from mild with slight reddening of the skin, to burning, swelling and pain. It's best to avoid them!

Albany NY-Almost entirely

Albany NY-Almost entirely brown Woolly Bears this year-Times Union did their own study a few years ago for each week of winter = a segment on the woolly bear. The woolly bear was 85% accurate and beat out the weatherman... how embarassing:)

Saw a big fuzzy black one

Saw a big fuzzy black one with very few brown on it here in Shippensburg,PA

I live in Lafayette Indiana

I live in Lafayette Indiana and have seen only all cinnamon colored wooly bears so far this year. We can only hope they're telling the truth.

I was so excited to find my

I was so excited to find my first wooly bear of the year and it was a doozy. Very large solid black one - just gorgeous!-in Des Moines, IA.

A large all black one may

A large all black one may have been the Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar. I've been seeing lots of the Woolly Bears while walking my dogs in Mid-Michigan and the little guys have been mostly brown with little black. But today I say the big black one and brought it home to identify it, he is back outside now. Here's a link to a webpage about the leopard moth. http://bugguide.net/node/view/595354

I live in Earlham Iowa & just

I live in Earlham Iowa & just found another totally black wooly a few minutes ago. It was headed South. Guess time to get the farm ready for another winter like last year.

Check out Vermilion, OH as

Check out Vermilion, OH as October 6 is the annual Woolybear Festival..the largest one day festival in the state of Ohio with the longest parade. Check out the city website!

I just found my first alive

I just found my first alive Woolly Bear that no one had squished - never will understand why people squish these cute little guys! I live in Ohio, usually the Woollys I find have little dark-brown, almost black butts, with brown-orangey mid sections. But the one I just found today is almost all the orangey-brown color! He has a teeny tiny black band by his head and that's it, goes back to orangey-brown! :)

I have been observing the

I have been observing the critters for about a week now busily crossing the parking lot when I walk each day at work. I have seen at least a dozen of them each day. The days have been unseasonably warm here in Augusta, ME. Nice wide brown bands. Perhaps a mild winter? I wouldn't have called last winter mild, more like normal.

This is awesome. I'm from

This is awesome. I'm from Ohio and I found a really fat fluffy black and brown one. It scared me at first I had all the lights out and I saw something crawling around the floor when I moved the stool and turned on the lights it took me a second to recognize it then I was like come on little fella your going outside. I wonder is that good luck to find one on your bedroom floor?

Walking in Winooski, VT we

Walking in Winooski, VT we have seen about 9 Woolly Bears, with normal reddish-brown stripes and black ends, about average length. Fuzzy and cute as usual.

Charlottesville

Charlottesville VA........Observed 2 completely BLACK Wooley Bears in the last couple of days.

The Shawnee, Delaware and

The Shawnee, Delaware and other indians of the Norteast along with the frontiersmen often used the beaver and muscrat to predict the severity of winters based on how large or small or how deep they built their winter shelters in the rivers or creeks.

I saw a all black wooly first

I saw a all black wooly first time and I live in CNY does this mean a cold hard bad winter????

I just saw one completely

I just saw one completely chestnut brown - no stripes, black or anything else. I was hoping for a lot of snow this winter, but now I'm not so sure!

Wow I just seen my first all

Wow I just seen my first all black wooly bear! Never really paid attention before to the legend about them predicting winter but definitely got my interest now as I have never seen an all black one. Got to wonder cause a lot of people are seeing them this year apparently!

I found and all black

I found and all black caterpillar I have not found to many like that and I live in Central New York. 10/1/2013

I live at the shore in New

I live at the shore in New Jersey and saw anall black wooly bear this morning.

I live in Morganville NJ and

I live in Morganville NJ and my 3 year old saw one in the garage. It was 1/3 brown in the middle. She was very excited to see it

I SAW A BIG ONE AND A SMALL

I SAW A BIG ONE AND A SMALL ONE BOTH HAD A SMALL AMOUNT OF BLACK ON BOTH ENDS. MAINLY BROWN BODY IN NORTHERN INDIANA FINGERS CROSSED THEY ARE RIGHT

Forgot to add in last post

Forgot to add in last post that this past 2 weeks of September 2013 have seen 4 woolly bears and they have all been solid Black and only have seen that in winter 1992-1993 and around the years of 72-74 , just cannot remember exact year 72, 73 or 74 but both of them winters were EXTREMELY COLD AND SNOWY !

I am 49 yrs old and born and

I am 49 yrs old and born and bred in the South/North Carolina Mountains and since a kid my Grandparents , older neighbors , etc., always said to look at the Woolly Bear to see how much black or brown covered it's body ... the more Black the more harsher/colder/snowier winter and more Brown a Mild-Winter . predicting the winter that way , by the color of the Woolly Worm was ALWAYS at least 95% right as i have observed as far back as i can remember . There were other things i learned as a kid ... thickness of fur on squirrels , the thicker , the harder/colder winter ... the wood spiders nest , the higher built off the ground , the snowier and deep snows . that is just a few examples . some will call them wise tales but nature does not lie and if you watch it .. it will give you a dang good idea of the weather coming . all i can say is people can believe it or not . i SURE DO because i have saw the results of the animals and incects be more accurate than the weather forecasters
.

Steve, Thanks for other

Steve, Thanks for other interesting nature lore, facts. I recently heard of the woolly worm from a woman from Kentucky.They have began showing up here but all I have seen is a light cinnamon color with one dark brown-black stripe running front to back, no horizontal markings though. Last year was a cold, wet- a harsh winter for Georgia. The weather was reported as turning around but when I saw the squirrels restocking acorns which I had not seen before, to me it was informing us to expect a longer than normal winter and the weather to remain harsh. Who was right? The squirrels. Our ancestors lived, farmed, etc. by nature's clues and they proved valid. Who am I going to believe? Nature!!! I have been watching the "wild cats", domestic cats living outside. They provide much accurate insight into our weather-rain, heat, cold(& they have thicker coats, fur, than in past), etc. Thanks again for your comments : )

I live in Gainesville,Ga and

I live in Gainesville,Ga and today my husband found an all black woolly. First time ever to see this beautiful little guy.maybe snow for Christmas.

Found one the other day, all

Found one the other day, all black. Never seen an all black one before.

Meant to say in Vermont.

Meant to say in Vermont. Found an all black one in Vermont for the first time.

In connecticutI saw several

In connecticutI saw several today and they all black with orange large stripe in the middle. Hopefully it will be a mild winter..

I'm in Northern CT and I have

I'm in Northern CT and I have been seeing more than I ever have in previous years. All with very little black, mostly brown:) We sure like milder winters here in New England!

I too live in Northern CT and

I too live in Northern CT and have seen about a half dozen woolly bears this week, all of them mostly brown with just a little black on each end. Sure hope we have a mild winter for a change--and no more October blizzards! I've never seen an all-black woolly bear; can people be confusing them with some other species?

My kids found an all black

My kids found an all black one also. So, do you think we should cut and run this winter? Lol

I just saw 2 ALL BLACK in VT.

I just saw 2 ALL BLACK in VT. First time too! uh oh...

Just found my first woolly

Just found my first woolly worm. He is solid black. I'm in Piedmont North Carolina.

We were out geocaching in the

We were out geocaching in the Boise, ID area and saw these little guys all over the place & and they were quickly scooting in every direction! Ours were mostly black on both ends & medium orange section in the middle. We'll see how it goes!

28Sep2013 - several sightings

28Sep2013 - several sightings of all amber woolies...with only a spot of a dark band on one end. Western New York. Our winters have been uncharacteristically mild for the last several years and if I read the report right...looks like it may be another easy winter.

I have 100rds in on my

I have 100rds in on my property and they are all mostly orange (with black at each end).Only 2 acers.

We live in Indiana and we

We live in Indiana and we have only seen all white woollies!!!!

I live in Indiana too, in the

I live in Indiana too, in the South-central part and I found an all-black woolly bear today!

Saw my first ALL white wooly

Saw my first ALL white wooly in Maryland today! Does that mean SNOW??

I've seen pictures of people

I've seen pictures of people breaking out in hive like bumps after touching the white ones...

I live in Las Vegas Nv and as

I live in Las Vegas Nv and as of the last few days have seen so many caterpillars around my house and the neighborhood. is that strange for Las Vegas, because when I say a lot I mean you can't drive with out running over the poor little guys :(

I saw the wooly bear

I saw the wooly bear yesterday it measured 2 cm in Owls Head, Ny
patrick

Saw one 9/22/13 in Amelia,

Saw one 9/22/13 in Amelia, east of Cincinnati, Ohio.. All Black.. bad winter coming??

I am near you clwilson and I

I am near you clwilson and I saw one last night, mainly brown, only had black tips. So keep our fingers crossed for a mild winter :)

I live in NE PA. I was

I live in NE PA. I was surprised this year to see my first wooly bear in July. I've never seen them this early. In the past few months I've seen 5 or 6 all black. Recently I've seen a few black on each end and brown in the middle and one all brown. Since I was very young my family believed that the more black, the worse the winter weather. A few years back I saw my first all black in the Phila. area and they got more snow than we did in the Poconos. One storm dropped 15" of snow that year. But our local weatherman says don't pay attention to the colors of wooly bears to predict weather.

Saw a wooly yesterday here in

Saw a wooly yesterday here in Putnam County, New York. It was all brown. First time I ever saw one with no black stripes on it!c

Here in Burlington Ky, i saw

Here in Burlington Ky, i saw my first banded wooly worm----wide black bands on head and tail and orange in the middle. I usually "discard" using any other caterpillar as a predictor---just the orange and black ones, per the wooly worm festival in eastern ky.

I live in vermilion Ohio

I live in vermilion Ohio right on lake Erie and today I just saw a all orangy-brown wooly bear

Saw my first wooly worm of

Saw my first wooly worm of the season. Same as yours,black on both ends and orange in the middle. I'm in Louisville.

I live in central Delaware

I live in central Delaware and 95 % of the wooly bears I've seen are all black. Yesterday I saw at least 50 crossing roadways and they all looked black. Cold winter.... I say so. Mother nature doesn't lie.

I live in Clearfield Pa and.

I live in Clearfield Pa and. today I saw an all black caterpillar on the road while riding motorcycles .

I am in Ma been seeing them

I am in Ma been seeing them brown on the ends and orange in the middle.

Last year (2012) we saw only

Last year (2012) we saw only a couple total for the whole fall here in Midwest Ohio; we had an extremely mild winter. This year, however, there is no shortage of our furry friends and in many colors. Makes me wonder whats in store for the upcoming winter!! Brrrrr

Found what seemed to be a

Found what seemed to be a white woolly bear in Lancaster, PA today. Never saw one that wasn't orange and/or black before. Cool to see others are as confused as I am as to what that might mean?

A few weeks ago my friend

A few weeks ago my friend posted a pic of a pure white one on her desk. I dont know what it means either

my husband and i were out

my husband and i were out moving the picnic table to mow the lawn and all of a sudden we saw wollybears every where not just by the picnic table but all out back we picked up 52 of them and they had small black tips and all brown in the middle neva saw so many ever!!!!
saved em all i hope!!!!!!!

As we understand it, there

As we understand it, there are many white caterpillars in the tiger moth family (many of which are called woolly worms or woolly bears). For example, a yellow woolly worm (Spilosoma virginica), also called the Virginia tiger moth, can appear in a white caterpillar phase. For photos of the various colors that this caterpillar can be, see:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/498

Although folklore focuses on the banded woolly bear, which does not have a white phase, there are weather sayings related to pale or white woolly bears as well. Some say that pale woolly bears mean that a mild winter is expected, but white woolly bears mean that lots of snow is coming.

I just saw a wooly bear on my

I just saw a wooly bear on my front porch and it mostly reddish brown with a black head does it mean a hard winter?

I just saw a snow white one

I just saw a snow white one today. My first all white one and I'm 52!

Found the first wooly bear of

Found the first wooly bear of the year here in Winston Salem, NC. It was small. It was black on the ends, brown in the middle.

I am curious about the extent

I am curious about the extent of the caterpillar determining the weather....Have been seeing a lot of white ones here in Brown County, Ohio, which is a first for me...Does anyone have any info about the white ones????

I just read where the all

I just read where the all white wooly worms means lots of snow. I live in Madison County, Indiana and I have seen three of them here so far, as of 9/24/13. I hope they are wrong. Lol

We camp near Neville Ohio.

We camp near Neville Ohio. The past 2 weekends this one included I've seen so many jet black woolys it's crazy! We have been very lucky the part few years with mild winters. We are due for a good snowy winter. I say bring it on. Count our blessings as they come. I'd love a white Christmas this year!!

I live in Daleville, VA and

I live in Daleville, VA and this week every wooly caterpillar I have seen has been completely black.

West Virginia. First time I

West Virginia. First time I have ever seen an all white woolly worm. What is that supposed to mean?

I read where it means lots of

I read where it means lots of snow a could be a blizzard too

Northern Michigan say three

Northern Michigan say three today all (orange) brown, no black.

Found two pale orange (no

Found two pale orange (no brown or black) woolies in Carroll Co, MD, yesterday.

Carroll Co MD here too. Found

Carroll Co MD here too. Found a bunch on my sunflowers yesterday..baby ones and big ones all over :)

Im in Carroll County MD also.

Im in Carroll County MD also. I've been seeing a ton of all black woolies and only a few with orange stipes

I have been seeing a lot of

I have been seeing a lot of them for about 3 weeks now.(its an invasion!) I am in Southern Illinois. They are in all colors and sizes. White, tan, orange, brown, and black. Mostly solid colors, but there sure have been alot of them! My son has been having fun finding them every day after school and it has not been hard for him. One step off the bus yesterday and he found two immediately!

NH sighting: Black wooley

NH sighting: Black wooley bear with a sprinkling of brown around the middle.

We have been inundated with

We have been inundated with "fuzzy bugs" all summer. I live on two acres outside of Flagstaff AZ. There are wooly bears, all one color - black, everywhere. They are enjoying my green bean and tomato plants as well as all the wild flowers.

We have seen over 20 today

We have seen over 20 today over less than 50 miles between southside Va and Richmond. They all appeared mostly black.

Saw my first today

Saw my first today 09.05.2013. Large all black. Mooresville NC

Sept. 6th 2013 Just saw a all

Sept. 6th 2013 Just saw a all black wolly bear caterpillar on a tree in the woods. Massachusetts

I saw my first today

I saw my first today 09.05.2013. Large all black

I have only seen two so far

I have only seen two so far this season and both were completely black. I live in Wright County in Minnesota just west of Minneapolis.

I have seen MANY wooly worms

I have seen MANY wooly worms crossing the road in the past week or two and every one of them have been the solid golden brown color (as in the middle band), with NO black on them at all. I guess it will be a mild winter.

I live near Fort

I live near Fort Boonesborough, KY.

I have seen three woolly bear

I have seen three woolly bear Caterpillars as of (9/04/13) and they were all black. Live in PA near Valley Forge.

I saw my first woolly today

I saw my first woolly today (9/3/13) it was completely black with a sliver of brown. We live in Delaware.

I saw an all black Woolly

I saw an all black Woolly yesterday(9/3/13). I have also seen some with a black head with an all brown body. We live in Maine.

I just saw one this morning

I just saw one this morning with two wide bands of black and a more narrow band of brown. I live in northern Delaware!

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