Legend has it that the more black at either end of a woolly bear, the harder the winter that lies ahead. Truth be known, the woolly bear caterpillar (larval stage of the Isabella Tiger Moth) molts its skin up to six times, and each time a brown section is added; thus, the longer the summer, the greater the ratio of brown to black on a woolly bear. A mostly-brown caterpillar is more an indication of an early spring or late fall, rather than a forecast of the coming winter’s severity!
This entry was posted on October 20, 2011 by Mary Holland. It was filed under Arthropods, Insects, Larvae, Lepidoptera, Metamorphosis, Moths, October and was tagged with Caterpillars, Isabella Tiger Moth, Larvae, Lepidoptera, Pyrrharctia isabella, Weather Forecasting, Woolly Bear.