Spotted Tussock Moth (Lophocampa maculata)
While out walking the trails at Audubon, I found this critter munching away on an Alder.
I wasn’t sure I had the ID right when I looked it up in our Caterpillars of Eastern North America by David L. Wagner (a wonderful guide, by the way). The picture in the book shows front and back with much more black – much like a Wooly Bear.
So I googled up some more images and found some at the Duke University website that look more like mine. (You’ll have to scroll down on their page to find this species. Click –> here.)
According to Wagner, this little critter will overwinter in the pupa stage and eventually turn into a moth.