Organism ID

Asked May 4, 2017, 2:19 PM EDT

What is this? Is it harmful,cbeneficial, or neutral? Thanks.

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question. This is a banded woollybear caterpillar. It will eventually undergo metamorphosis (a change of form) and become a moth. I've attached a photo of the adult moth. Here's a link to a brief description of the caterpillar. One source notes:

"Isabella tiger moth
This medium-sized moth is a pretty pale yellow, and females have orange hind wings. Common across the continent, you’re most likely to encounter it in its caterpillar phase when it’s known as a woolly bear. These furry, reddish brown and black-banded caterpillars are often spotted on the move in the fall. They spend winter as full-grown caterpillars, and are specially adapted to survive freezing temperatures. They emerge as adult moths in the spring. Attract them with host plants such as asters, birches, maples and elms, and by leaving fallen leaves in your garden."

So, it's good. We need all we can get!