48 Hairy, Fuzzy, Furry Caterpillars You May See (with Pictures)

A hairy caterpillar tends to stand out. An atypical fuzzy appearance may even make these caterpillars look like another species.

Spotting furry caterpillars may be a sign to back away, as some of them are known to cause rashes and dermatitis.

Table of Contents

Why Are Some Caterpillars Hairy?

Some theories argue caterpillars are hairy to avoid predators. They are more difficult to spot or acknowledge as caterpillars by their predators when they are covered in hair.

Other theories claim caterpillars have hairy bodies for thermoregulation. Plenty of furry caterpillars overwinter in one of their growth stages before resuming their growth in the spring.

Are Hairy Caterpillars Poisonous?

Most hairy caterpillars aren’t poisonous. However, handling them barehanded is still not recommended.

Those with sensitive skin can show symptoms such as rashes when touching these caterpillars. The Brown-tail Moth Caterpillar is one of the well-documented hairy species to cause rashes.

Red skin patches and severe itching that lasts for weeks are specific to those touching this caterpillar.

48 Hairy, Fuzzy, Furry Caterpillars

Here are some of the most common types of caterpillars covered in hair which look like fuzzy caterpillars.

1. Spongy Moth Caterpillar

Spongy Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Lymantria dispar

Colors: gray, red, and yellow

One of the most common hairy caterpillars of North America is Spongy Moth Caterpillars. These are also some of the most damaging types of caterpillars on the continent.

Spongy Moth Caterpillars have a fuzzy gray appearance with red fuzzy spots and long yellow scarce hairs.

The species has a cyclical appearance. It may appear dormant or even extinct one year to come back in an outbreak the following year.

Spongy Moth Caterpillar outbreaks are cyclical. They are seen every decade or every 15 years.

This species is known to defoliate large areas with trees. Oak trees and maple trees are some of the most affected species in the eventuality of an outbreak.

2. Spotted Apatelodes Moth Caterpillar

Spotted Apatelodes Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Apatelodes torrefacta

Colors: white, yellow

The spotted Apatelodes Moth Caterpillar is one of the furry-looking caterpillars in North America.

Its entire body is covered in long and dense hairs which are either white or yellow. Native to the Eastern parts of North America, this species has almost completely uniform coloring.

The white morph of this caterpillar only has a few black dorsal tufts. As it turns yellow, these black dorsal tufts become larger, contrasting the bright appearance of this species.

There’s no evidence to show the long hairs of the species are poisonous, but they may trigger temporary allergic-like reactions in those who touch them.

Some of the broadleaf large trees of North America might be impacted by their presence.

Oak and maple trees are the typical hosts of The Spotted Apatelodes Moth Caterpillar

3. Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar. Image by CK Kelly via inaturalist

Scientific name: Orgyia pseudotsugata

Colors: gray, red, yellow, black

This species of fuzzy caterpillar is named after its fir habitat. Found at higher elevations among conifers, this caterpillar is completely covered in hairs and tufts.

Some small color variations are specific to the caterpillar, as it goes from one instar to another.

Gray is the dominant color while short yellow tufts are seen on its dorsum, closer to the head.

These yellow tufts can turn gray or may remain yellow-orange throughout their lifespan. Long black antennae-like tufts are also characteristic of the species.

Found in North America, this species appears in cycles and may defoliate entire forests.

Similarly to Spongy Moth Caterpillars, Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Caterpillars appear every decade or more, with an outbreak lasting up to a few years.

4. Fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Orgyia detrita

Colors: gray, orange, black

Fir Tussock Moth Caterpillars are also fuzzy, albeit not as much as Douglas-Fit Tussock Moth Caterpillars.

This species has a base hairless gray body color with 4 white short tufts on the dorsum. It also features long black tufts on the head.

Scarce lateral long black hairs are seen on the later instar Fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

This species also shows orange-brown spots along its body.

A considerable appearance change is specific to this species, as it grows. This caterpillar is almost completely yellow in its early days.

Oak trees and bald cypress are the hosts of the species.

5. Banded Woolly Bear

Banded Woolly Bear

Scientific name: Pyrrharctia Isabella

Colors: brown, black

One of the feared types of caterpillars in North America is the Banded Wooly Bear. This is a species that has been believed to be poisonous.

While not poisonous, this caterpillar may still trigger allergic reactions at the skin level.

Brown and black coloring are specific to The Banded Woolly Bear. Spiny hairs cover its body with its middle section being brown while its ends are black.

This species has a widespread distribution across The US and multiple types of hosts such as trees and wildflowers.

Asters and clovers are among its typical hosts.

6. Yellow Woolly Bear

Yellow Woolly Bear

Scientific name: Spilosoma virginica

Colors: yellow

The bright uniform yellow appearance of this hairy caterpillar inspires its name.

Long and dense hairs cover its body in a uniform look, without any spots, marks, or hairs of another color.

As it ages, this species may darken to a slightly orange-brown appearance.

Yellow Woolly Bears may show invasive traits. They feed on grasses and wildflowers.

An eating habit known as skeletonization is specific to this species. This is a habit where the caterpillar only feeds on the softest parts of its host plant leaves.

7. Rusty Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Rusty Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Orgyia antiqua

Colors: black, gray

Rusty Tussock Moth Caterpillars absorb toxins and advertise this capacity through their appearance.

Large toxin glands on their backs act as warning signs to potential predators.

The setae of these caterpillars are also charged with toxins, leading to an unpleasant taste or allergic reaction in those touching these hairy caterpillars.

The main color of the species is either black or gray. Long black tufts, off-white toxin glands, and red or brown tubercles are also specific to this caterpillar.

Different types of trees and wildflowers are the hosts of this species. The trees it feeds on include birch and flame trees.

8. Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar

Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Hypercompe scribonia

Colors: black, red

A Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar is always covered in numerous black hairs. Its hairy appearance has a purely defensive role.

This type of caterpillar can roll into a ball whenever threatened. Its black body is only contrasted by hairless red bands across its body.

The species may look venomous or poisonous, but it does not cause a reaction in its predators.

A wide range of host plants and trees is specific to this hairy black caterpillar.

Mulberry trees, magnolias, and maples are among the numerous types of host trees the caterpillar is seen on.

9. Wild Forget-me-not Moth Caterpillar

Gnophaela latipennis
Wild Forget-me-not Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Gnophaela latipennis

Colors: black, yellow

Scarce black hairs cover the body of The Wild Forget-me-not Moth Caterpillar.

This is a species that has a base black color with tiny blue nuances covering its body in clusters.

A bright yellow mid-dorsal stripe is also characteristic of the species.

Wild Forget-me-not Moth Caterpillars are among the species with a brown head found in North America.

Regions of the Southwest such as those around Nevada are part of its natural distribution area.

From meadows to clearings in woodlands, this species can be found feeding on the leaves of numerous trees.

10. White-tipped Ctenucha Caterpillar

Ctenucha rubroscapus
White-tipped Ctenucha Caterpillar

Scientific name: Ctenucha rubroscapus

Colors: black, white

A contrasting fuzzy appearance describes the look of the White-tipped Ctenucha Caterpillar.

This species is mostly black, but it also has numerous white bristle-like hairs covering its body.

These hairs aren’t as numerous as on other species, which means their base black color is still visible.

A reduced number of black hairs is also seen on its dorsum but to a lesser extent.

White-tipped Ctenucha Caterpillars are found across different types of habitats, particularly around the Cascade Range.

Only found in Western North America, this caterpillar may sometimes be spotted feeding on Couch Grass.

11. Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Lophocampa maculate
Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Lophocampa maculate

Colors: black, yellow, orange, white

Long hairs cover the body of The Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar, a species highly present in Western North America.

Its initial growth stages are marked by a white appearance with orange contrasting hairs. The species eventually grows into a banded hairy black and yellow appearance.

Just a few white tufts remain on its hairy body by the time this caterpillar reaches its final instar.

The damages made by these caterpillars are typically limited as complete tree defoliation is rare.

Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillars feed on various tree species such as birch and maple tree leaves.

Like multiple other species in this region, the caterpillar can also feed on the leaves of willow.

12. Painted Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Arachnis picta
Painted Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Arachnis picta

Colors: black

Painted Tiger Moth Caterpillars are one of the rare types of all-black fuzzy caterpillars.

This species has a black body and long black spines arranged in circles around the bands on its body.

The summer and the end of the summer mark the time of the year this caterpillar is mostly seen on.

Its damages are minimal to trees as The Painted Tiger Moth Caterpillar mostly feeds on wildflowers such as lupines.

Occasional sightings in gardens are tied to the presence of the caterpillar on radishes.

Black coloring is also specific to the emerging moth of the species.

13. Garden Tiger Caterpillar

Garden Tiger Caterpillar

Scientific name: Arctia caja

Colors: black, brown

A woolly type of caterpillar, The Garden Tiger Caterpillar is a species with a fuzzy appearance.

Completely covered in hairs, the species is dominated by black dorsal coloring. The lower hairs on its sides are brown.

This is a generalist feeder caterpillar which means there are higher chances of spotting it around North America.

Woodlands and grasslands around woodlands are among the typical types of habitats for the caterpillar.

This species feeds on wildflowers with broad leaves. A high presence is noted for the species on plantain and daisies.

14. Forest Tent Caterpillar

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Scientific name: Malacosoma disstria

Color: black, blue, white, brown

A hairy body is specific to Forest Tent Caterpillars, one of the most colorful species of North America.

These types of caterpillars have a base black color with blue stripes connected by thin blue bands and decorated with white spots.

The lateral sides of the species show longer gray-brown hairs. Scarce longer black hairs also grow on the sides of the caterpillar as it approaches its later growth stages.

This species is mostly found in woodlands where it feeds on the leaves of deciduous trees. Birches and oaks are among its typical hosts.

15. White-marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

White-marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Orgyia leucostigma

Colors: black, yellow, red, gray

A multicolored fuzzy caterpillar, White-marked Tussock Moth Caterpillars are highly damaging by feeding on a wide range of trees and wildflowers.

Unlike most types of caterpillars which specialized in a smaller number of hosts, The White-marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar feeds on roses, oak, and fir, among multiple other species.

This caterpillar has a gray body with long white or gray hair. It features black and yellow dorsal stripes with short hair-made red spots.

4 large yellow glands hairless glands are spotted on its dorsal side as well.

This species has numerous black tufts. These are groups of bristle-like hairs, often compared to the bristles of toothbrushes.

Southern and Southwestern US territories are the main distribution area of the species.

16. Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Euchaetes egle

Colors: black, orange, white

These hairy caterpillars grow more hairs as they grow. Named after the milkweed they grow on, these caterpillars go from hairless to covered in hairs as they grow.

Living in groups in their first few days, Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars are easy to spot. They only leave to find food on their own once they reach the third instar.

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars have a base green color with a few black hairs.

By the time they reach their final instar, these types of caterpillars are covered in hair, having a fuzzy look.

Black hairs are the most numerous on their bodies, followed by orange and white hairs. The species has numerous tufts around the head.

17. Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Lophocampa caryae

Colors: white, gray, black

A fuzzy appearance is also specific to Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillars.

They grow dense setae as they mature. These types of caterpillars have a black mid-dorsal section and white sides. Long white or gray hairs are seen on their sides.

The caterpillar is also among the few North American species with white tufts.

Most setae that look like hairs on this species only appear after their third instar. These types of caterpillars are highly damaging to their hosts in their first few days when they feed in groups.

Oak and willow are among the typical hosts of the species.

18. Angel Moth Caterpillar

Angel Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Olceclostera angelica

Colors: brown, yellow, green, white

An almost hairless appearance is specific to the early instar Angle Moth Caterpillars.

The species is mostly green in its first few instars. It then begins to darken and grow short hairs or a fuzzy appearance towards its later growth stages.

Angel Moth Caterpillars have long white hairs around their brown heads as well.

The hairs around their heads are so long the caterpillar cannot easily move just before pupation.

Various hosts are specific to Angle Moth Caterpillars. The species is seen on different plants such as nettles as well as on tree leaves such as on the leaves of oaks.

19. Puss Caterpillar

Puss Caterpillar

Scientific name: Megalopyge opercularis

Color: gray, brown

A toxic species with the potential to sing, Puss Caterpillars are highly hairy.

This fuzzy type of caterpillar has some of the longest hairs which cover its body completely.

These long hairs are connected to venom glands which means handling the caterpillar isn’t recommended due to possible skin-level reactions.

Puss Caterpillars are found in North America. While they can have different types of hosts, they prefer the leaves of deciduous trees.

Oaks are their favorite, followed by elm trees to a lesser extent. The host of the species also influences its gray color.

20. Virginia Ctenucha Moth Caterpillar

Virginia Ctenucha Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Ctenucha virginica

Color: black, white

A fuzzy appearance is specific to The Virginia Ctenucha Moth Caterpillar in all of its life stages.

This is a species that has a bright appearance at first, darkening as it grows.

A white and yellow hairy body is first specific to this species. Yellow hairs are groups on its mid-dorsal area.

As it grows, the caterpillar turns black with only thin white lateral stripes.

The long black hairs of the species are backed by even longer groups of black hairs on its dorsum.

Brown prolegs are further distinguished on this type of caterpillar.

Some of the best places to spot the Virginia Ctenucha Moth Caterpillar include wildflowers on the edge of the road such as sedges.

21. Yellow-collared Scape Moth Caterpillar

Yellow-collared Scape Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Cisseps fulvicollis

Colors: gray, brown, white, yellow

A similar preference for host flowers is specific to The Yellow-collared Scape Moth Caterpillar as to the Virginia Ctenucha Moth Caterpillar.

This species also grows and feeds on sedges, as well as on various types of grasses along woodlands and roads.

Yellow-collared Scape Moth Caterpillars have gray and brown coloring with short white hairs.

These hairs start to grow longer as the species goes from one instar to another. Still, these hairs don’t grow as long as on other hairy caterpillars as they eventually turn black in the latest instar.

Yellow stripes also appear on the body of The Yellow-collared Scape Moth Caterpillar in its final 2 instars.

22. Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Halysidota tessellaris

Colors: yellow, brown, gray

Long setae covering the entire body of The Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar make this species one of the most common types of hairy in deciduous woodlands.

Yellow, golden-yellow, and gray hairs are specific to this type of caterpillar. All of its morphs and all of its life stages are also backed by a growing number of black tufts.

The long hairs of the species have been known to cause allergic-like skin-level reactions in some people.

A species that were only seen in late summer, this caterpillar comes with limited foliage damage to its hosts.

23. Salt Marsh Caterpillar

Salt Marsh Caterpillar

Scientific name: Estigmene acrea

Colors: brown, black, yellow

Crops and grasses are among the common hosts of The Salt Marsh Caterpillar.

This specie is a known pest on a wide range of crops which means it requires management techniques.

A hairy body is seen on the species toward its later growth stages.

This caterpillar starts life as a green species with just a few black hairs. It grows into a tan or brown caterpillar with long black hairs.

Manual removal is possible on legumes at home when it comes to managing the species to avoid complete defoliation of its hosts.

24. Edwards’ Glassy-wing Moth Caterpillar

Edwards’ Glassy-wing Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Pseudohemihyalea edwardsii

Colors: black, brown

A different length of hair is seen on this type of caterpillar as it grows.

Black color is specific to Edwards’ Glassy-wing Moth Caterpillar across its life stages.

This is also a species that has short black hair covering most of its body. Longer brown hairs are then seen on this species as it grows.

The shorter black hairs remain dominant in this species.

Garry Oak and Canyon Live Oak are among the most common hosts of the species.

25. Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Halysidota harrisii

Colors: white

One of the caterpillars that cause skin-level reactions in most people touching it is The Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

This is a species that has a distinct bright appearance, dominated by white coloring.

It has short and long white hairs contrasted by brown tufts along its head.

The species also has a pair of white tufts towards its anal plate.

Growing reports show handling The Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar leads to itchy skin and even urticaria.

26. Fall Webworm

Fall Webworm

Scientific name: Hyphantria cunea

Color: black, yellow, white

Varying coloring is specific to The Fall Webworm caterpillar, a species that grows into a hairy species.

Its initial coloring is bright, slowly darkening as the species feeds and grows.

Reaching a length of over 1 inch, this species is initially white-yellow with black spots and a few short white hairs.

The number of hairs increases on the caterpillar as it grows. It eventually becomes a black species with yellow sides and long white hairs.

These white hairs are scarce, which means their black and yellow coloring is visible.

27. Dull Firetip Caterpillar

Apyrrothrix araxes
Dull Firetip Caterpillar

Scientific name: Apyrrothrix Araxes

Colors: black, brown

Dull Firetip Caterpillars are mainly found in the Southern US woodlands.

These types of caterpillars prefer oak woodlands.

A striped black and brown body is specific to these caterpillars which also grow short black spines on the dorsum.

The species is one of the possible defoliators of oak trees, but outbreaks are rare as their number is controlled by predators.

28. Delicate Cycnia Moth Caterpillar

Delicate Cycnia Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Cycnia tenera

Colors: gray

A fuzzy gray appearance is specific to The Delicate Cycnia Moth Caterpillar. This is a caterpillar with long hairs which give it a furry appearance.

These hairs have a gray base color but they can sometimes appear brown, especially as the caterpillar feeds and grows.

These caterpillars can even spin cocoons.

Spotting them is easier in their first instars as these types of caterpillars are further known for their communal living in their first days.

29. American Dagger Caterpillar

American Dagger Caterpillar

Scientific name: Acronicta americana

Colors: yellow, green

A bright yellow color is specific to the hairy American Dagger Caterpillar.

This is a species known to sting or to come with a stinging sensation when handled.

While it has long yellow hairs, it may also come in a light green appearance.

Some black hairs or tufts may contrast its bright appearance. This caterpillar is known for growing long black projections in its later instars.

Seen across parks and woodlands, these types of caterpillars only feed on tree leaves.

Maples and oaks have some of the most attractive leaves to The American Dagger caterpillar.,

30. Variable Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Variable Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Dasychira vagans

Colors: black, brown

Long scarce setae cover the body of The Variable Tussock Moth Caterpillar from an early stage.

This species has a mostly black body which is covered in long white, gray, or brown hairs. White hairs are dominant in the species.

A pair of long black tufts are also seen on the sides of its head.

A small species growing to a maximum length of 1.1 inches, Variable Tussock Moth Caterpillars may also have a brighter appearance based on nuances of brown instead of a base black color.

The younger caterpillar of this species tends to have a brighter appearance.

31. Contracted Datana Moth Caterpillar

Contracted Datana Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Datana contracta

Colors: black, yellow, white

A hairy aspect is specific to the Contracted Datana Moth Caterpillar.

This species stands out with contrasting colors. It features a black body with yellow stripes and an orange-brown band around its black head.

Scarce long white hairs grow on its dorsum as the caterpillar grows.

An Eastern distribution across North America is specific to this species.

Contracted Datana Moth Caterpillar is seen on trees and shrubs such as oak and blueberries.

32. Close-banded Yellowhorn Moth Caterpillar

Close-banded Yellowhorn Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Colocasia propinquilinea

Colors: white, green

A furry caterpillar, The Close-banded Yellowhortn Moth Caterpillar is a species that darkens over time.

It has short white hair covering its body in its first days. These hairs darken to a bright green nuance with a few contrasting black spots in the form of interrupted black dorsal lines.

Short brown tufts also grow on the species from the 3rd instar.

A species found in deciduous tree woodlands, this type of caterpillar has a small range of broadleaf hosts. Oaks and poplar are among its typical hosts.

33. White Satin Moth Caterpillar

White Satin Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Leucoma salicis

Colors: gray, black, white

Gray and black colors dominate the body of The White Sating Moth Caterpillar, a species that lives in woodlands or riparian areas.

This species has been linked to outbreaks, but these tend to be very rare.

As it grows on its poplar or willow hosts, the caterpillar becomes larger and morphs into a gray body with a large black mid-dorsal area.

It then shows large white spots on the dorsal side together with clusters of white hairs on its sides.

34. Impressive Dagger Caterpillar

Acronicta impressa
Impressive Dagger Caterpillar

Scientific name: Acronicta impressa

Colors: black, brown, yellow

A limited number of colors is specific to the hairy Impressive Dagger Caterpillar.

This large caterpillar grows black and it only shows a few contrasting brown hairs on the sides.

Its last instar is also when yellow clusters of hair grow on its dorsum.

The hairy species is a common sight in woodlands as well as around water. It feeds on bitterbrush, witch hazel, and poplar, among other types of hosts.

35. Interrupted Dagger Caterpillar

Interrupted Dagger Caterpillar

Scientific name: Acronicta interrupta

Colors: black, brown, gray

The Eastern and Northeastern US territories are the main distribution area of this furry caterpillar.

This species is dominated by either gray or brown colors, depending on its growth stage.

It eventually becomes a gray-brown species with a black mid-dorsal band.

The hairy caterpillar features brown dots along its mid-dorsal band. Interrupted Dagger Caterpillars are further known for having long brown hairs around the head and on the sides.

Black hairs grow from its black dorsal area.

36. Cottonwood Dagger Caterpillar

Acronicta lepusculina
Cottonwood Dagger Caterpillar

Scientific name: Acronicta lepusculina

Colors: yellow, black

Northeastern US territories and Southern Canadian territories are the home of the Cottonwood Dagger Caterpillar.

This is a species with long hair covering its entire body, except its black head.

Most of its hairs are yellow and grow longer as the caterpillar grows. A black central band is seen on its dorsum.

Long black tufts are connected to its black central band.

37. Night-wandering Dagger Caterpillar

Acronicta noctivaga
Night-wandering Dagger Caterpillar

Scientific name: Acronicta noctivaga

Colors: black, brown

This species is native to The Northeastern US states from Maryland to Maine. The caterpillar is also partially furry to fully furry depending on its growth stages.

A black base color is first descriptive of this caterpillar. It starts to grow long black hairs around its head at first.

As it eats and grows further, this caterpillar grows hairs all around its body.

A higher density of hairs is still specific closer to its head in its final instars.

All of its hairs are black with a few brown spots which eventually form a lateral brown band on its body in the areas where its black hairs are scarce.

38. Little Metalmark Caterpillar

Calephelis virginiensis
Little Metalmark Caterpillar

Scientific name: Calephelis virginiensis

Colors: white, black

A colorful fuzzy appearance is also descriptive of The Little Metalmark Caterpillar.

This species starts its life as a brown and white egg to hatch in an initial light green color.

Fuzzy hairs start to grow on the caterpillar, starting with its sides. These hairs eventually cover its dorsal side as well.

The caterpillar becomes white through the white hairs that cover it. Small black spots are still seen on its dorsum.

These black spots are arranged in 2 rows around the central dorsal area of the species.

Various asters and types of vines are among its ideal hosts.

39. Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moth Caterpillar

Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Cosmosoma myrodora

Colors: white, yellow

Seen around The Gulf of Mexico, The Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moth Caterpillar is another type of common caterpillar with hairs.

This is a species that starts life as a small green egg that turns white with a few white hairs around its body.

These hairs thicken and are also backed by scarce black hairs all around its body as the caterpillar grows.

Large yellow ventral spots develop later on.

A species often associated with Florida, Scarlet-bodies Wasp Moth Caterpillar feeds on wildflowers such as Florida Hempvine.

40. Streaked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dasychira obliquata
Streaked Tussock Moth Caterpillar. Image by Evan M. Raskin via inaturalist

Scientific name: Dasychira obliquata

Colors: gray, brown, black

Poplar, walnut, and even tulip trees in the Northeastern regions of The US are the home of the Streaked Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

This is a hairy species with long black tufts and a gray to brown body color.

Most of its gray hairs are seen on the sides while those that are black are specific to its dorsal side.

The species is small, growing up to a length of 1 inch.

41. Walnut Caterpillar

Walnut Caterpillar

Scientific name: Datana integerrima

Colors: black, brown, white

Walnut, hickory, and pecan are among the typical hosts of the furry Walnut Caterpillar.

This species is covered in hairs throughout its life stages before pupating.

A black body with long scarce white hairs is first specific to this species. Its body brightens up to brown and white stripes along its body but it remains covered in long white hairs.

There’s a risk of an outbreak with this species but this is a rare occurrence.

42. Edwards’ Wasp Moth Caterpillar

Edwards’ Wasp Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Lymire edwardsii

Colors: yellow

This type of caterpillar is endemic to Southern Florida. It has a constant presence in the Southern parts of the state throughout the year.

Yellow color is specific to this caterpillar, completely covered in fuzzy hairs.

Only its black head contrasts its bright yellow appearance.

The hairs of the species are spiny, compared to the softer hairs of another more fuzzy caterpillar.

This species is known to feed on the young leaves of various trees. It prefers the leaves of figs such as those of The Florida Strangler Fig.

43. Schaus’ Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Halysidota schausi
Schaus’ Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Halysidota schausi

Colors: gray, brown, yellow, white, black

These types of fuzzy caterpillars feed on The Lady of The Night.

A hairy appearance with varying colors is further specific to the Schaus’ Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

White at first, it only shows a few short white hairs along its body, with longer hairs around the head.

The colors of the species darken to gray-brown at the sides and black hairs in the mid-dorsal area.

White hair tufts resembling toothbrush bristles are further specific to this species.

An intermediary yellow color is specific to the caterpillar before it becomes gray-brown and black.

44. Santa Ana Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Santa Ana Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Lophocampa annulosa

Colors: yellow, black

A wide distribution area is specific to The Santa Ana Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

This furry-looking species is found in an area between Texas and Brazil. Only the Southern regions of Texas are warm-enough for the species in North America.

A golden-yellow color is specific to the multiple long hairs covering its body.

Red clusters of short hairs are seen closer to its head, on the dorsum. Black and white tufts also contrast its yellow appearance.

This caterpillar also shows a narrow black mid-dorsal band along its body.

45. Brown-tail Moth Caterpillar

Brown-tail Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Euproctis chrysorrhoea

Colors: black, brown

One of the most invasive furry caterpillars is The Brown-tail Moth Caterpillar.

This is a white species like a moth, but it has a dark appearance like a caterpillar. Initially found only on The East Coast, it has spread inland to various hosts such as trees, flowers, wildflowers, and fruit trees.

Brown-tail Moth Caterpillars are initially brown, turning mostly black as they age.

They grow multiple groups of brown hairs along the sides and around the head, which are known for their black and brown colors as well.

Contrasting white spots may also be visible along its body.

This species is known to cause severe skin rashes and even breathing difficulties in people with allergies.

Some of these rashes last for days and weeks.

46. Ranchman’s Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Arctia virginalis
Ranchman’s Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Arctia virginalis

Colors: black, orange, red

A furry appearance is specific to all of the life stages of The Ranchman’s Tiger Moth Caterpillar.

Black is the main color of the species followed by red or brown. Both these colors are represented by dark hairs across its body.

White hairs can be spotted later on this caterpillar.

47. St. Lawrence Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Arctia parthenos
St. Lawrence Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Scientific name: Arctia Parthenos

Colors: black, brown

The hairy St. Lawrence Tiger Moth Caterpillar is a species that has a black fuzzy appearance.

Feeding on alders and birch, this is a type of caterpillar that goes through as many as 8 instars.

Some of these caterpillars may overwinter as caterpillars. This is a stage where their internals freezes up.

The caterpillar reaches a length between 1 and 2 inches with a dark body that has both black and brown hairs.

48. Wood Tiger Caterpillar

Wood Tiger Caterpillar

Scientific name: Arctia plantaginis

Colors: black, brown

A similar black and brown appearance specific to the St. Lawrence Tiger Moth Caterpillar is also spotted on The Wood Tiger Caterpillar.

This is a species with a black body with lateral brown bands.

The caterpillar stands out with its very long black hairs with gray or white tips.

Seen on prairies and woodlands, these types of caterpillars grow on wildflowers such as lupines.

Lupines in North and South America form the main habitat of The Wood Tiger Caterpillar.