Harry and I recently visited Natural Bridge State Resort Park. It’s a bit early for autumn color, and getting late for many insects. I wasn’t sure what we’d see, and I was glad to find several different caterpillars.
This is a curled up Banded Tussock Moth caterpillar (Halysidota tessellaris). I’m guessing the arrangement of the stiff spines discourages predators, and I’m intrigued by the design. At first glance, it’s hard to tell it’s a caterpillar.
The adult Banded Tussock Moth looks quite a different than the caterpillar. Here’s one I photographed a couple of summers ago.
We saw several of these caterpillars. Some were light-colored and others were a golden yellow. All had distinctive long black and white lashes at each end.
I’m often amazed by the designs I find in nature, and I think these caterpillars qualify as miniature works of art.