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A relative in West Virgin... #137849 - Ask Extension

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A relative in West Virgin... #137849

Asked July 01, 2013, 7:56 AM EDT

A relative in West Virginia posted the attached photo on Facebook, and was asking what type of caterpillar it was. Another in Florida has them in her garden. Nobody seems to know, although one offered that their child had accidentally laid an arm on one years ago, and was "stung" and ended up with a reddened imprint of the caterpillar on their arm. People have been trying to find an answer, but nobody has come up with one. I figured I'd go to the experts. You've been very helpful in the past. Thank you. (The photo looked much sharper on Facebook, but the caterpillar appears black, with two rows of yellow dots running the length of the body)

Wyoming County West Virginia

Expert Response

The photo is not clear and we cannot tell if the caterpillar is hairy or smooth. If it is hairy,  the hairs can be irritating, but the caterpillars do not bite.
It is possible that the larvae in the photo may be a type of butterfly, possibly a  type of Fritillary or Checkerspot.
mh

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