Woolly Bear Caterpillars and Weather Prediction

Using Woolly Worms for a Winter Forecast

woolly-bear-caterpillar-winter

Based on the measurements of the distinctive woolly bear caterpillar, you can figure out your weather forecast!

University of Missouri

The woolly bear caterpillar—also called woolly worm and fuzzy worm—has the reputation of being able to forecast the coming winter weather. Whether this is fact or folklore, learn more about this legendary caterpillar and how to “read” the worm.

Here’s the legend: The Woolly Bear caterpillar has 13 distinct segments of either rusty brown or black. The wider the rusty brown sections (or the more brown segments there are), the milder the coming winter will be. The more black there is, the more severe the winter. 

How the Woolly Bear Caterpillar 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 worm the most recognizable caterpillar in North America.

Woolly Bear Caterpillar. Photo by SillyPuttyEnemies/Wikimedia Commons.
Woolly Bear Caterpillar. Photo by SillyPuttyEnemies/Wikimedia Commons.

What is the Woolly Bear Caterpillar?

The caterpillar Curran studied, the banded woolly bear, is the larval form of Pyrrharctia isabella, the Isabella tiger moth.

  • 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.

Isabella Tiger Moth. Photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren/Wikimedia Commons.
Isabella Tiger Moth. Photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren/Wikimedia Commons.

Do Woolly Bear Caterpillars Forecast Winter Weather?

Between 1948 and 1956, Dr. Curran’s average brown-segment counts ranged from 5.3 to 5.6 out of the 13-segment total, meaning that the brown band took up more than a good third of the woolly bear’s body. The corresponding winters were milder than average, and Dr. Curran concluded that the folklore has some merit and might be true.

But Curran was under no scientific illusion: He knew that his data samples were small. Although the experiments legitimized folklore to some, they were simply an excuse for having fun. Curran, his wife, and their group of friends escaped the city to see the foliage each fall, calling themselves The Original Society of the Friends of the Woolly Bear.

Thirty years after the last meeting of Curran’s society, the woolly bear brown-segment counts and winter forecasts were resurrected by the nature museum at Bear Mountain State Park. The annual counts have continued, more or less tongue in cheek, since then.

For the past 10 years, Banner Elk, North Carolina, has held an annual “Woolly Worm Festival” each October, highlighted by a caterpillar race. Retired mayor Charles Von Canon inspects the champion woolly bear and announces his winter forecast. If the rusty band is wide, then it will be a mild winter. The more black there is, the more severe the winter. 

Woolly bear caterpillar in defensive posture.
Woolly bear caterpillar in its defensive posture.

Most scientists discount the folklore of woolly bear predictions as just that, folklore. Says Ferguson from his office in Washington, “I’ve never taken the notion very seriously. You’d have to look at an awful lot of caterpillars in one place over a great many years in order to say there’s something to it.”

Mike Peters, an entomologist at the University of Massachusetts, doesn’t disagree, but he says there could, in fact, be a link between winter severity and the brown band of a woolly bear caterpillar. “There’s evidence,” he says, “that the number of brown hairs has to do with the age of the caterpillar—in other words, how late it got going in the spring. The [band] does say something about a heavy winter or an early spring. The only thing is … it’s telling you about the previous year.”

Every year, the wooly worms do indeed look different—and it depends on their region. So, if you come across a local woolly worm, observe the colors of the bands and what they foretell about your winter weather.

Then, again, you can always check the winter weather predictions in The Old Farmer’s Almanac!

Find out which other animals can predict the weather and learn how to tell the temperature from cricket chirps!

Source: 

The 1999 Old Farmer's Almanac

Reader Comments

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Saw one yesterday all black-

Saw one yesterday all black- southern oh- here o i guess a bad winter for us

Wooly Worm

Saw a smaller all black wooly worm on my porch today Nov 15, 2017!!!

I saw an all black one

I saw an all black one yesterday!

Wolly "BLACK"

Found an all black wolly walking into my garage November 7. Next day I found him curled into a ball on the cement floor. I put him in a tissue box and brought him inside.

Wooly Bear

Just saw an all black wooly bear in Orangeville Pa 11-12-2017 at 1pm
It is a nice sunny day in the lowers 40

just found a wooly bear worm

just found a wooly bear worm almost all Brown, I guess we will have a mild winter in cincinnati. Yeh !

Wooly worm

Saw a solid black wooly worm today!!!

Black woolly worm

Just walked out my front door and there was a solid black woolly bear on my brick wall. That is the first one I have seen this year. Powell Ohio

Woolly Bear

Do woolly bear caterpillars make a cocoon, ??

Found one today 11/3/17

On my front porch.. small orange bands.. mostly black! I hope the legends are true!! Azle, Texas

Wooly (brown) Bear

Just found an all rust wooly bear! All the ones I found early fall at least had a black band, though smaller than I've seen years past.

black woolly bear

I seen several the last few months while walking and all were rust color in the middle with balck on each end. Yesterday 11-02-17 I seen a all black one.Went out the front door this morning there was a black one at the door husband almost stepped on it until I noticed .Look like woolly was was wanting to get in the house.It was 52 degrees this morning.Punxsutawney Pa

WOLLEY

SAW ONE TODAY NOVEMBER 2 2017 IN EUFAULA,ALA.ALL BLACK.

Woolly bear caterpillar

Just saw an all black one. Nov. 2, 2017. Hopkinsville, Ky.

WoollyWorm

Found all black one in NewAlbany, In, today!

Woolly Bear

Just spotted an all-black one as well...Upstate South Carolina better hunker down this Winter!

Wooly Bears in NY State

I just found a small one (average size) crawling on my deck at Albany NY. The head was almost a half inch black and the rest of it was rust brown.

Found an all black one. Paris

Found an all black one. Paris TN. Gonna be COLD!

Woolybear

Found an all black woolybear this afternoon in Sugarcreek, Ohio. First time I ever saw one that was all black!

all black i just saw it today

southpoint ohio

Wooly bear catipillar

Saw an all black one in knoxville tn. Well we need a good winter it's been a long time since we had a good snow. It would be nice before i check out of this world. old man

Wooly Bear

I live in central Maryland and just came across a solid black Wooly Bear in the back yard.

Gray wolly worms

Just seen a all gray wolly worm what does that mean

wooly bear

I'm in north central Ohio and the wooly bear I seen beginning of this week was mostly brown very little black on either end.

forgot

sorry, i forgot. Central New York state. Finger Lakes area.

Woolly worm

I just found one on my basement wall, about 2-1/2 inches long & mostly all black, i had to look hard to see any brown in the center. I'm tuning up my snowblower.

Wooly Bears

My daughter showed me a picture she took with her phone of an all black one she saw on our driveway this morning in central Massachusetts. :)

I'm in southwest michigan and

I'm in southwest michigan and am currently looking at an all black one

Saw one today, just a little

Saw one today, just a little rust in the middle and a lot of black on both ends! South Chicago suburbs!

willy worm

In Ohio saw willy worm l0-17-17 and it was all brown with a small black ring on both ends. Looks like your picture but almost all brown So hope this means a mild winter. Have also saw white willy worm too. and all brown one with a little black ring. All were in the same place on black top on our walk in park.

wooly bear

In Northeast PA I just saw one, and, the brown segment was larger than the black.. so perhaps our winter won't be as snowy this year! We had a pretty snowy one last year!

Woolly Bear

I'm in SW Ohio. I've seen 3 woolly bears in the last 2 days, all of them with wide brown bands. Hopefully the stories are true and we'll have a mild winter.

All-Rust Woolly Bear in NH

I saw my first Woolly Bear of the season today, and it was completely rust-colored. I live in south-western New Hampshire. It really has been a warm fall so far. Remains to be seen what the winter will be like!

Woolly Bear

We're on Pewaukee Lake Wisconsin, we see a lot of those cute little creatures, just took 2 out of the cottage and their brown bands were pretty narrow. Looking forward to a snowy winter!

Woolley worm

Saw one here in Northwest WA State near Canadian border. All dark rust color. No black. What up with that???

All Black Wooly Worm

Wednesday night (Oct. 4th, 2017) while out walking my dog, I spotted an all-black wooly worm. It was attempting to cross my neighborhood road. This, along with the fact that the Hickory trees in this area are fully loaded with nuts now supports my belief that winter in the Charlotte, North Carolina area may be severe.

All black wooly caterpillar

Driving out of Girl Scout camp on dirt road between brown corn stalks. Granddaughter saw a huge caterpillar almost across the road. She thought I ran it over. We backed up and got it. It is huge. Measured it, 2 inches long. It absoluteely lives lettuce.

Wooly caterpillar

Sorry forgot to mention we live in Nebraska.

Wooly bear

Found a wool
y bear on my husband's tire this afternoon. Didn't n
know about counting the different segments but the first black
segment was .50 inch, brown was atleast an inch if not a little more
and the last black segment was .25 inch

Woolly worm

This morning, as I left for work, I saw a solid black woolly worm. The first ever witnessed in my 50+ years.

All black wooly bear

Coming from the midwest I grew up with hearing the blacker the wooly the more severe the winter. However I have never seen an all black until today. Watch out Virginia I think we're in for a good one this year.

Woolybears

Tonight I went out into the garage & spotted something strange. I had my husband fetch the spotlight because I thought it might be a mouse. It turned out to be the largest & blackest woolybear I have ever seen! No orange at all. So I opened the door & gave it a little nudge outside with a broom.

To protect the wooley bear,

To protect the wooley bear, and others, I have stopped mowing the grass for the year. I don't want to run one over, I would feel really bad. Plus I think leaving the leaf litter will be more beneficial for bird watching.

Wooley Bear Worms

I'm not crazy or making this up. Yesterday I say a YELLOW one that had about 6 black spike like hairs sticking out of it. I've seen the ones described here, but NEVER a YELLOW one. The black spikes were two on each end and two in the middle and sticking out between the top and sides and were a little longer than than the rest of it's hair or fuzz or what ever you want to call it. I started to touch it but thought the black ones be a defense and poke or stick me with some kind of something than might hurt or make me really sick. So I just let it alone to do whatever IT wanted to do.

yellow caterpillar with black spikes

It sounds like you saw the larva of the American dagger moth (Acronicta americana); the larva eats leaves of certain trees, such as oaks and maples. Younger larvae are yellow fuzzy caterpillars with a few taller black tufts. As the larvae age, they become a paler yellow or white. You were right not to touch the caterpillar–the black tufts can cause irritation or a rash in some people with sensitive skin.

wooly worm

I just saw an all black wooly bear worm on my back patio. No orange stripes!. Does that mean a very severe winter is coming? plus it was very fat.

all black caterpillar

There are several fuzzy caterpillars that are essentially all black, such as the fully grown larval stage of the giant leopard moth. However, if the caterpillar you saw was indeed a banded woolly bear caterpillar, then yes, folklore warns that a severe winter is coming!

wooly bears

i saw an all black one last month, trying to come into my basement apt. scooped him up and put him by the garden. all black, so does that mean a horrible winter or what?

Woolly Catepillar

I saw my 2nd one and they both were pretty much black. You could barely see the orange stripes.

Wooley Bear Caterpillar-WA State

Just saw the first Wooley, all black!

It's when you first see them that counts

My experience has been that you can forecast a cold or mild winter based on when you see the woolly for the first time. This year I saw my first one on July 31st in central NJ. I've never seen one this early. So the forecast is for a cold winter. The earlier you see them the colder the winter. When you see the first one after the first day of fall(give or take a couple of days), that makes for a milder winter.

Woolly bear in PA

We were out splitting wood and came across not one but two all black woolly bears. We live in south central PA almost near the MD line. This is the first time in my 50+ years ever seeing a pure black one and I've lived in a number of different states.

Wooly Bear

I found two Wooly Bears while kayaking on the Clackamas River yesterday. We were near Estacada and the caterpillars' brown segment was 1/3.

wooly caterpiller

i am in the north east and all my caterpillar are all white what does this mean

White wooly bear

I don't think it's the wooly bear we're talking about here. I saw a white one up at my Dad's house in Pocono Summit, two years ago in late summer. I let it walk onto my hand and looked at it's face. What a face! It had sporadic black bristles in what looked like a weird angry expression. Reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where Uncle Leo loses his eyebrows and Elaine magic markers new ones on him, except everyone that looks at him thinks he's angry. Mother Nature sure has a sense of humor sometimes.

Wooley Bear Catapillar

I found a Wooley Bear Catapillar today in Patterson WA. Looks just like the above photo. Black on both ends and rusty color in the middle. Maybe half and half.

Woolly bear catapillars

I saw two woolly bear Catapillar's in central New Jersey today and both were totally rusty color

Yellow Wooly Bear

Pale Yellow Wooly Bear (no black) spotted today in 90 degree weather in Columbus, Ohio. Haven't seen many Wooly Bear's at all compared to 50 years ago. This one seemed slightly larger than usual.

yellow woolly bear

Had one on my deck railing today in South Jersey.

All orange woolly worm

Saw two all orange/rust woolly worms today here in Southern Maine. No black stripes or tips.

Spotted in MN

The dog and I found a wooly bear this morning in the Twin Cities! The middle band took up about 1/3 of it's body, so I'm hoping he's right and the meteorologists' prediction of a tough La Nina winter are incorrect!

No wooly bears at all!

I haven't seen any wooly bears at all this year. I've seen 3 of the all-black wooly's... all were dead.
Where have all the wooly's gone?
I live in Western Massachusetts and am outside much of the time. Surely I would've seen at least ONE by now!

Wooly Bear Caterpillar

I saw one today 9-19-2017 in DuBois, PA crawling across my driveway that was totally black no brown at all. Sounds like a bad winter. We will see as winter comes and goes.

White Wooly Bear

Yesterday my cat found a new friend in the house crawling through the living room, an all WHITE Wooly bear! Saved him from the cats claws! Hope it isn't true what they say...

White Wooly Bear

What DO they say about the white wooly worms?
We are in Southwest Ohio (Cincinnati area).

white woolly worms

i live here in IL. central part. Effingham. We are called Crossroads of I-70 and I-57.
We also have seen the while Woolly Worms. Did anybody ever answer you about
what it meant? Usually they say, the darker, colder and more precept but, never said
what white was.

Oregon sighting

Found one crawling on my deck tonight in Albany, OR. Less than one third was brown.

wooly bears

Yesterday l rescued (from my cat) what looked like a wooly bear but it was solid black. Could be a different species? Or should I head south for the winter?

Solid Black Woolly Bear

Yes, you may occasionally see the caterpillar of related species, like the Giant Leopard Moth, which are solid black in appearance! Fortunately, they don’t signal a harsh winter ahead. (Though we would still recommend heading south.)

Wooly Bear

I saw an insect that looked like a wooly bear but it's hairs were long. It kind of looked like a flannel moth caterpillar but same color pattern. As wooly bear.

Wooly Bear

I mean a caterpillar, not insect

Caterpillars

Hi Becca,

The Yellow Bear Moth caterpillar and Virgin Tiger Moth caterpillar can sometimes have color patterns similar to wooly bears. The difference between these look alikes is that the Yellow Bear and Virgin Tiger caterpillars have longer, non-bristly hairs than Wooly Bears, which have shorter, bristly hairs. It’s possible the caterpillar you saw was one of these look alikes. 

Wolly caterpillar

I have seen three two of them we're just black tipped short the other was all brownish I'm 74 years old and I've been watching them since the late forties Central New York

Found this huge black fuzzy

Found this huge black fuzzy with orange skin in Ocala Fl while tending my monarchs and milkweed today!

white fuzzy wuzzy

so what would a creamy white fuzzy wuzzy mean?????

creamy white fuzzy wuzzy

The creamy white fuzzy caterpillar is likely a different species than the banded woollybear (or woolly worm), which can appear dressed in fuzzy black with an orange belt around the middle, or it can appear all black or all orange. The larva of the Isabella tiger moth, this caterpillar is the one normally associated with folklore about 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. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any “official” folklore that links white or cream fuzzy caterpillars to winter predictions, although some people suggest that their appearance might mean lots of snow to come.

Black Wooly Bear

I spotted a huge, beautiful black wooly bear this morning in a Tampa Bay!

Wooly Worm

Just found a solid black Wooly Worm on the back
porch in Hampstead North Carolina

Can a Woolie bear caterpillar be yellow in color?

It looked like a woolie bear to me! It had the long hairs and real slow movement but it was yellow in color on the body and the hair seemed white! Was it a baby woolie bear? Please comment if you know what this caterpillar is! Thank you! Jamie S, East Fishkill, NY

Yellow Woolly

I guess the answe would be yes as I just found an all yellow one in Western NC.

Little Bear moving through the garage

I walked out into the garage today and found a solid black woolly bear moving through the garage. I was surprised to see him inside, it's a first and this early in the year. We just relocated and was happy to see him of course. I guess it is time to ensure we have plenty of fire wood, blankets, groceries and prayers for winter.

I stepped on one barefoot

I was at an amusement park in the water park barefoot and I stepped on one and it hurt badly make sure if you pick one up you do not prick yourself because it is like a moving cactus

seen first woolly bear worm today

3/12/17 find it odd to have my first woolly bear today. I live in northern wisconsin and he was in the lawn frozen. I felt sorry for him so I brought him in the house to see if he would thaw out, He did :). Within an hour he was moving around. I put some grass in the bucket for him, I hope he makes it till it warms up so I can put him back outside. Any suggestions on these?

Not sure how "frozen" it

Not sure how "frozen" it really was. Interesting fact, in northern latitudes, woolly bear accumulate glycerol to enhance their diapause freeze tolerance.

Wooly Bears

Saw a wooly bear crossing my lawn yesterday here in Oregon, equal stripes of black and orange. It seemed odd to see him this time of year. We have had an unusually cold, icy and snowy winter so far for the Multnomah Valley. Right now it is milder (a bit over 40 degrees) and raining - maybe that's what made him come out.

All brown in Ulster County/Accord, NY!

On my New Year's Day run I saw a wooly bear crossing the road that was all brown. There was no black to be seen. I thought it was strange but then, it's 60 degrees here in NYC today and all next week the temps are predicted to be in the 40s and 50s. Hmmm .....

Solid black

Saw a solid black wooly bear in Pennsylvania

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

I just found this caterpillar crawling very slowly in my basement. He has equal segments of brown and black. My house is about 150 years old on a farm in Ontario, Canada. I don't know what to do with him, any ideas?

Caterpillar

I just found one in my basement tonight. I'm wondering where he came from! I don't know what to do with him. Lol

Brown with black stripes

In central Indiana in October and November I saw a lot of black ones crossing the road, but when I took a closer look they were orangish brown with black stripes at each end. I was told this meant a cold snap at the beginning of the winter (which we are having now) followed by a mild or normal winter with a cold snap at the end. I hope wooly worms are better meteorologists than groundhogs.

First weekend of November, I

First weekend of November, I saw a total black woolly warm. My immediate thought, was...oh no! A severe Winter. I guess time will tell. Most forecasters are calling for a mile winter in Northeast North Carolina. I have never seen a black one before. My first. I was explaining about the woolly warm to several friends and they thought I was making this stuff up. So this is a great piece I will share with them. I guess we will stay tune and see what ole Jack Frost and Mr. Winter has in store with us.

Here in Maryland they are

Here in Maryland they are black.

I have encountered numerous

I have encountered numerous totally black Wooly Bears this past Fall on my county road trips surrounded by bean and corn fields here in South Central Indiana. It will be interesting to see if it does affect our winter. Here it is the first week of November and it has been unseasonably warm up to this date. I guess look out for February and March this upcoming year.

I spotted several wooly bears

I spotted several wooly bears while driving thru Kentucky last month. I noted they seemed totally black from where I sat in the passenger seat. Severe winter, we shall see.

Yes I've seen at least 8

Yes I've seen at least 8 wooly worms and they where all black ,so I guess we might have a severe winter just have to wait and see

We were hiking the Walkill

We were hiking the Walkill River preserve, saw over 25 wooly bears, all with larger brown segments than black, also spotted an all light tan one, they were very active due to the warm day. Looking forward to the mild winter.

I have seen several crossing

I have seen several crossing the road as I have been driving here in Blue Rock Ohio. Today I pulled over to take a Picture of the very large (biggest one that I have ever seen) All Black Woolly Bear. I have yet to see one with any brown . I have a few Local friends who have reported seeing all white Woolly Bears too.

Woolly caterpilliars in nw pa (lake erie)

Saw a woolly caterpillar (Mon-10-24-16). Black head with large middle of the brownish orange and the end black. Some say it will be a mild winter, while others say if it has a black head, winter will be bad. What is the myth? Hoping for a mild winter.

Wooly Worms

There's also a festival in Beattyville, KY. Although probably not as large as the one in NC. Seen a lot of all black worms this year- and we did have a cold, snowy winter last year.

Woolly Bear

While walking trails along the Blackstone River we saw a tiny Woolly Bear mostly Black but only about 1 inch long . So Cute Can you bring in House to watch it???? We live in Mass along the River.

wooly worms????

What does the all tan one mean. i just seen one on the porch.

WOOLY WORMS????

the tan or sometimes all white wooly worm is said to report a very snowy winter.

Wooly in Wisconsin

In SE Wisconsin I have been seeing Woolys that are mostly black with a small band of brown. I have seen a few that look solid black also.

Mild winter

Looks to be a mild winter here on the Texas Gulf Coast. Wooly worm had equal bands of black and brown.

Newell wv

I've seen more black woolly worms then the brown

Black Woolly Warms in WV

I live in Huntington, WV. I've seen only two woolly warms on my back porch and both were completely black...could it be the same one twice over a couple of weeks time...sure but don't think so. From my understanding, this means a colder, snowier winter.
I spoke with a customer the other day at work and she saw a completely white woolly warm...I asked her what that means seeing how I've never heard of that and she said research it. I did and I discovered it "means" blizzard like conditions!
I say to you all, I hope so!!!!

Happy Winter to ya'll as we say in WV!

mild winter michigan

just saw 3 woolly's in the garden all three mostly brown. but yet forcast for us in COLD and Lots of snow guess we'll see you is going to be right

All black woolly spotted

Lansdale, PA, very large, all black woolly spotted in my garden yesterday...so what are we in for winter weather-wise?

Black Woolies

I live in Northwestern PA and have only seen all black Woolies so far. I guess we can't complain, as last winter was wonderful, not much snow!

White/Creamish Wooly Worm

I just saw a THICK white one on my back door two days ago. I'm in southern NC so, I'm used to black, brown, and black/brown but, never white! We don't really get much actual snow (we get ice) in my part of the state so, I guess I'd better hold on to my hat!

All White Caterpillar 2016

I just seen an all white one this month, and it showed a brown streak on it's back , which indicated a mild winter with a streak of harsh winter, which is exactly what we had in 2015 / 2016 winter. Hopefully that will be the same for 2016 / 2017 winter.

wooly bear

today, september 27th 2016, i spotted a totally black wooly bear......... cold winter????

White Ones are not Woolly Bears!

I keep seeing people post about white "woolly bears". There is no such thing. There are a couple of different species of moth caterpillars that are white and fluffy or fuzzy, but they are not true Woolly Bears(Isabella Tiger Moth). If you check online photos, you can see what the white fuzzy caterpillars are. I see the lovely fuzzy white ones around this time of year as well. They have much longer hair, are smaller and thinner.

White Wooly Bears

I live in Central Virginia. Every fall, thousands of wooly bears cross a certain stretch of my road. One fall day, I saw a sea of only white ones! I had never seen white ones before, and I haven't seen them since. That winter was nationally known as "Snow-Mageddon!"

Just saw a Woolly in East PA

It was a pretty even black, then brown, then black. We also saw an all black fuzzy caterpillar but we think it was a giant leopard moth caterpillar. So I guess we'll have an average winter? Too bad, I was hoping for a mild one lol.

predicting winter weather with wooly worms

you mention the brown and black band,but we've seen all white wooly bears,what does that mean?we live in upstate ny.

Enjoy the fuzzy wuzzies!  To

Enjoy the fuzzy wuzzies!  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.

Wooly worm

10/18/16 Saw a all black and a mostly orange band today. What does this mean? Same trail,same day and time!

My first white Woolley worm!!

I use these fun creatures every year and have never seen an all white before today. I live in Southern Indiana near Bloomfield. Bring on the snow!!

No Orange all Black Woolly Worm

I live outside Albany, NY and have seen a woolly worm that was totally black, no orange. Not that I'm hoping for a ton of snow, but in our area we're in a rainfall deficit.

WHITE Woolly Worms in West-Central INDIANA

Our family has ALWAYS predicted the upcoming winter forecast by the woolly worm and also by cutting the seed of a persimmon in half. This is the first year we have ever saw a white woolly worm! Our daughters are now 20 & 23 and STILL love this family tradition. It's too early for our persimmon forecast. Anxious to see what that prediction looks like!

White woolly catapillar

Watch out for the white one they are poisonous
I had one crawl up my leg and it must of stung me
Cause I was up all night itching nothing the doctors could anything but let it run its course

Boston

I've got a Woolly Bear in my back yard very short segments of black on either end and a long band of brown in the middle. Hopefully another mild winter in Boston if you believe. 9/13/16

We live i

We live i
n Indiana, central, we see all colors here black, white, brown, and striped soooo what does it mean????

saw a wooly bear with no black at all, only brown

saw a wooly bear with no black at all, only brown, what prediction would be made from this observation?

all-brown woolly bear

If it was truly a woolly bear caterpillar, larva of the Isabella tiger moth, then all-brown would mean a mild winter according to folklore. A nice prediction for the heating bill!

Woolly worms

The other day while taking my dog out to his outdoor surrounding, I saw a very black woolly bear on the ground. I live in SW PA.

I live in Lancaster and just

I live in Lancaster and just pulled about 30 off my tea. Some all black some all Brown/Orange some all white and some of various combinations of those.

Wooly worms

September ,2016 , every wooly worm I have seen in Ohio has been all white. Does this mean we're in for a snowy winter??

I have seen all white as well

I have seen all white as well and I live in SW Virginia. I sure hope it don't mean all snow!

I too JUST saw My First White Wooly Worm!!

My 14yo GrandDaughter had just drove in driveway and she spotted Many (6+) Wild Turkey and shortly iS
Iced the white wooly at base of a tree!:) Sophia said it must mean a very white winter!:)?? Am also anxious for Replies also as Tammy!:)) Come on y'all!! I know someone out there has some awesome Tales!:) Blessings to ALL!!! (And yes we live in KY .. Outside BeaverDam, Ohio County!:)

White Wooly Worm

Same here Sothern Ohio I have seen 2 so far, both as white as can be.

Winter 2916

So what's the prediction for this year

Wooly bear caterpillars

In Delaware I Have seen several wooly bear caterpillars, all of which have been totally blond this month. Hopefully we will have a mild winter!

Looking for data

I would love to use this for data analysis in my AP Biology class. Does anyone know where I can find data supporting or refuting this hypothesis about the weather/woolly bear relationship?

Black woolly bear caterpillar

Saw the first black woolly inside a massive vine growing on a railing on the deck on August 31, 2016. I live in Elizabeth City, N.C.

wooly bear

Just saw a black wooly bear in my garage a while ago. 08/28/2016. Plan to keep for the grandkids to see.

wooly worm - gray

first ones i saw today 8/25/16 saw 3 and all of them were gray or silver what does this mean, i live in middle of kansas

Just saw a completely black

Just saw a completely black one on the side of my house here in south western West Virginia. I seriously hope this doesn't mean we are in for a bad winter.

Black Wooly Bear!

I saw a completely black one today also, Cindy! I am in SW PA near Pittsburgh. I came to this page curious to find what it meant. According to this article, it would indicate a MILD winter--which seems to be completely opposite what other prognosticators are predicting!

It depends where you live.

It depends where you live. The Old Farmer’s Almanac (unlike many folks) is also predicting a fairly mild winter in some regions.  See our long-range weather maps and forecasts for winter 2016–2017 here: http://www.almanac.com/content/long-range-forecast-2017

read the first wooly you see

the first for 2016 was seen today and observed to be all orange (amber). My insights call for an extremely variable late fall, winter, early spring with some horrific turbulence. A very early snowfall is forecasted with abnormally strong and stormy weather extremes, both hot and cold, wet and dry.

wholly worms

Just saw a solid tan one in east Tennessee.

wooly worms

I saw an all orange wooly bear yesterday..8/27/16

Just found and all yellow one

Just found and all yellow one is western PA. First time I've seen one

Wooly bears

I remember playing with one with my grandpa when I was but a wee lad . When you first pick one up it goes into a circle and you can scootch it around in your palm - it tickles! then it uncurls and roams around heading for the highest point on your hand. I never hurt one, just played with it for a bit then put it back where I found it. Wooly Bears Are Neat Critters!!

A solid black woolly worm wow

A solid black woolly worm wow our nation is out of control...

Black wooly bear

I found a solid black one a couple of days ago in Middle Tennessee.

I wasn't familiar with them, so put it in a container with plenty of clover and other greens, and when I checked today, it has built a web and the pupae is inside. Guess I'll be seeing it transform before long.

I found a solid black one too!

Here in Louisville, Kentucky; I found a solid black wooly worm, never seen one all black before either. Sadly it was dead.

Black Wooly Bear

I just saw a solid black wooly bear on my patio in DFW Texas. First I've seen; he is very active, travels fast!

Wooly Bear in danger

We found a Wooly Bear under a frozen glove on the side of our house. We brung it inside and warmed it up. It is up and moving now, and we plan to keep it until after the winter storm. We are most likely going to walmart to get some Violets for it to eat .. is that the right thing to do?

Oh, bless! It’s too bad the

Oh, bless! It’s too bad the wooly worm picked the frozen glove. During the winter months, wooly bear caterpillars do not need to eat. Instead, they hibernate, or sleep, in a safe spot all winter long. When spring returns, wooly bear caterpillars wake up. You might want to put him in a safe spot! It’s hard to say if he’ll survive, but it’s very kind of you to try.

Once they wake up in the spring, they enjoy clover But they’ll known to eat herbs, grass, dandelions, and sunflowers.

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

Albino Wooly Worm

Any predictions for our winter based on an "albino" wooly worm?

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!!

Wooley

funny...I've noticed them over the years and never paid attention to their colors. Just assumed they had different markings. This year in North Jersey I noticed they seem to be all black...usually they have some orange at either end. Well...we got away with a warm winter in 2015 guess we are due! lol

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...
http://bugguide.net/node/view/498
Or, there is something called The Laugher, with a black head (Charadra deridens)
http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/reso...
http://www.discoverlife.org/mp...
The American dagger moth (Acronicta americana) also has a fuzzy white caterpillar, with black tufts and a black head.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/...
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/...
https://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs...
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.

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