The Basics:

  • Does it sting? No, but the fur can be irritating.

  • What does it eat? A lot of trees, including ash, birch, elm, maple, and oak.

  • Will it seriously damage plants or trees? No.

  • Is it rare? No, quite common.

  • What does it turn into? A pretty gray moth.

  • Can you raise it to an adult? Yes, especially if you find one wandering around in late summer looking for a place to spin a cocoon.

American Dagger Moth

This cool caterpillar has irritating "fur" that it spins into its cocoon. The black hair pencils may act as fake antennae, making the insect appear larger or more threatening than it really is. This caterpillar feeds on oaks and other trees, and can be very common in the late summer and early fall as it crawls around looking for a place to spin its oval cocoon.

The adult moth is a pretty pale gray color with dark "dagger" markings on the margins of the wings.

Acronicta americana

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