Monday, October 4, 2010

Wooly Bears in the shed!

No, not a bear from the Cenozoic era, in which the Wooly Mammoth walked.  But rather a caterpiller most of us are familiar with in the fall of the year.  The Wooly bear is the caterpillar stage of the Isabellla Tiger moth of the night.  The Wooly bear or Wooly worm is thought by some to be able to predict the come winter.  The longer the band, the milder the winter, the shorter the band the more serve.  All the caterpillers I spotted today had bands that were at least an inch in length, which is three quarters the over all length.  Now, I don't know if this is considered short or long... I am hoping its long.  This time of year they are easy to spot as the Woolys are crawling about looking for a place to over winter.  This afternoon as I was preparing the chicken coop for winter with a good amount of oat straw, I needed to move feed bids around, as I did, many woolys were found that were already settled in for winter. I tried not to disturb them, but after all I needed to straight things up and stack in the straw.   While looking at data about the Wooly bear, I found a reference noted that the Wooly worm can survive temperature of -90 F. On another site, they lived through being frozen in an ice cube.  I just love learning something new about nature each and everyday!


  1. I remember seeing many of these on the gravel roads by my grandparents house in St. Vincent. I spent many hours outside observing a lot of things in the times I spent... up there!
    I never knew about the band thing...but it wouldn't surprise me if it might be true -Eva

  2. I also saw many of these catepillars, in the same places as the 'anonymous' commenter above *wink* but always thought they were something else. Now I know better. :) I sure hope the long band means milder winter, too!

  3. Omg, it's so cute!!
    I haven't seen a catepillar in ages. And certainly not one as "regal" looking as this!