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Monday, June 2, 2014

Izzy and Woolly

It started when I noticed a relatively large yellowish moth on the steps:

I let her crawl onto my finger so that I could move her out of harm's way.  The view from the side was impressive!  Look at those colors and overall fuzziness!

Here's a different angle, highlighting the orange-red color at the base of the front legs:

Do you recognize this moth?  It's an Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella), photographed in Bodega Bay on 1 June 2014.

If you don't know the moth, I'm guessing you might be familiar with the caterpillar.  As a caterpillar, it's often known as a Woolly Bear or Banded Woolly Bear.  I couldn't locate a picture of my own tonight, but you can see a few here.  The Banded Woolly Bear caterpillar undergoes metamorphosis and becomes this beautiful Isabella Tiger Moth.

[I'll pause here just to say that on the West Coast the common name of the caterpillar is a little confusing in that there is another caterpillar that's also called a Woolly Bear.  I wrote about this briefly in an earlier post on 28 March 2012 which includes a picture of the "other" Woolly Bear.]

I can't resist showing one more image.  Here's looking at you, Izzy!

P.S.  It sounds like "isabella" refers to the moth's color a pale cream-brown or parchment color, according to Wikipedia.