Sunday, November 11, 2012

Caterpillar: Spotted Apatelodes Moth (Apatelodes torrefacta)

September 15th, 2012. We drove over Patterson Gap Road from Betty’s Creek Road to Persimmon Road. Patterson Gap lies on the Tennessee Valley Divide in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The road is graveled and water erosion has produced some rough sections.

Our first find was Lobelia siphilitca (Great Blue Lobelia). Further up the road – at about 2,900 ft asl - we started to see gentians. We spotted Gentiana saponaria (Soapwort Gentian) and Gentiana quinquefolia (Stiff Gentian) further up the road. Near the top of the pass, we found a blazing star that we’ve tentatively identified as Liatris squarrulosa (Southern Blazing Star) and Prenanthes altissima (Tall Rattlesnakeroot) growing at the top of the pass. A little further along the road we came across a couple of Solidago bicolor (White Goldenrod, Silverrod) plants and Impatiens pallida (Pale Touch-me-not).

On the road down the southwest slope of the Tennessee Valley Divide, we found a caterpillar on a  Collinsonia canadensis (Canada Horsebalm) shrub. We didn’t know what it was at the time but figured that the bristles were not something to touch.

This moth is found from Main to Wisconsin, south to Texas and Florida
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification Resources:
Bug Guide: Apatelodes caterpillar - Apatelodes torrefacta [Caterpillar] [Moth] 

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Katherine Edison said...

We just saw one of these on the Ramble today and I found post when I was trying to ID it! Thanks for being a great resource.

JSK said...

Glad to help!