Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wordy Wedesnday: Woolly Bear?

During the Thanksgiving weekend, I found this furry thing on the bark of a Shagbark Hickory. At the time it struck me as possibly being a caterpillar of some sort. However, it did not move at all, even when I touched it gently and did not seem to have visible legs. After I posted it on my Flickr account, one of my contacts there suggested that it might be a hibernating Woolly Bear, a.k.a. Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella). This makes sense to me as I have seen Woolly Bears remain active pretty late into the fall, and this photo is similar to one example at BugGuide. Such an exposed position does not seem like the best place to be hibernating, though.

Any other thoughts on this creature's identity?