Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Pyrrharctia isabella

Isabella Moth


The caterpillar is the familiar Banded Woolly Bear, and even today it seems necessary to point out that the width of the brown band has nothing to do with the severity of the forthcoming winter. The caterpillar can be seen running across roads in October. It is seen again in February and March, after having spent the winter as a full-grown caterpillar. Before winter the caterpillar feeds on various low-growing plants such as Plantago and Taraxacum, but I do not believe it feeds again in the spring before it pupates in a silken cocoon in which larval hairs are incorporated. The adult moth, which has distinctly reddish forelegs, has a rather unpleasant smell!

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