Wildlife Photo: Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar


So I was enjoying a quiet morning while looking out over picturesque Rice Lake in Ontario recently, when I noticed a mostly-white caterpillar inching its way towards my hand. It was pretty darn cute and my first thought was to pick it up and show it around to some friends. But then I noticed some longer spikey black hairs.

For some reason I had second thoughts about petting the little thing, as I know some caterpillars are poisonous, and a white poisonous caterpillar had recently become more common in Ontario.

So, I did what anyone does these days – I took a little video of it and posted it on Instagram. Apparently some people think caterpillars are damn scary. Others think they’re quite cute. And new Instagram buddy the_caterpillar_whisperer confirmed he also thought it was a tussock moth caterpillar, which is mostly harmless but may be a bit stingy.

It was nice to meet you my furry little friend. Caterpillars really are pretty cool creatures. I only ever posted one other caterpillar on Instagram, which was a kinda rough and blurry woolly caterpillar picture. But I think I’ll try to get more photos of them in the future. What do you think, are caterpillars cool or creepy?

Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar

A Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar in Ontario


About Red Hunt

A former journalist and business analyst that now works in the world of travel marketing. Based in Toronto, Red Hunt has travelled to more than 40 countries over the past 10 years. You can follow Red on Twitter @redhunttravel.