Watch for Woolly Bears

For me, fall officially arrives with the appearance of woolly bear caterpillars. These fuzzy black and brown caterpillars are the larva of the Isabella Tiger Moth. During the fall, the caterpillars seek shelter under bark and leaves where they remain protected from winter weather until the spring. Once warmer temperatures arrive, the caterpillar will spin a cocoon, then the adult moth emerges to begin the life cycle once again.

During these mild October days, woolly bears are quite visible crossing roads and you may see them crawling on the ground as you're walking in nearby parks or other natural areas. Many people believe that the width of the brown band can predict the severity of the coming winter, with a wide band indicating a mild winter. This idea came from an informal "study" by C. H. Curran, curator of entomology at AMNH. Beginning in 1948, Dr. Curran and his friends collected caterpillars at Bear Mountain State Park and measured their band widths. After eight years ...more ↓

Posted on October 24, 2013 12:10 PM by americanmuseumofnaturalhistory americanmuseumofnaturalhistory | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

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charlesr

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April 1, 2014

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artybrodskiy

Date

November 3, 2013

Description

I believe these are eggs. Found them underneath the bark of a dead tree.

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Observer

artybrodskiy

Date

November 3, 2013

Description

Shells of an invertebrate, maybe more snails?

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artybrodskiy

Date

November 3, 2013

Description

Some spider webs, but no spider. For some reason, a cluster of pebbles is suspended in the spider web. Any ideas what they might be for?

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Observer

artybrodskiy

Date

November 3, 2013

Description

Worm I dug up

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Observer

artybrodskiy

Date

November 3, 2013

Description

Worm I dug up

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What

snails Class Gastropoda

Observer

artybrodskiy

Date

November 3, 2013

Description

Some kind of snail/slug

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Observer

patricklempert

Date

November 1, 2013 12:01 PM EDT

Description

A group of many little spiders hidden behind a tree web. No parent spider present.

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What

Centipedes Class Chilopoda

Observer

patricklempert

Date

November 1, 2013 12:22 PM EDT

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What

Woodlice and Pillbugs Suborder Oniscidea

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patricklempert

Date

November 1, 2013 12:17 PM EDT

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patricklempert

Date

October 6, 2013 02:11 PM EDT

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What

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Observer

charlesr

Date

September 3, 2013

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Observer

ckmg

Date

September 12, 2013

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What

American Dagger Moth Acronicta americana

Observer

patricklempert

Date

August 17, 2013 01:42 PM EDT

Description

Yellow caterpillar w/ 2 black antennas protruding from midbody and 1 on the back

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What

Cabbage White Pieris rapae

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

Feed in sedum.

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What

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

Slightly worn on the wing tips.

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What

Silver-spotted Skipper Epargyreus clarus

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

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Photos / Sounds

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

These are extremely bristly wasps. they generally seem to crawl around the flowers gathering nectar, not quite as graceful as some of the other wasps at making their way around a flower head. Very colorful though, yellow, black, orange-red and the blue black wings.

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What

Zabulon Skipper Poanes zabulon

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

This was a female Zabulon with a slight purple gray showing on the wings. It was just perched on a leaf. Oddly still for a skipper.

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What

Eastern Amberwing Perithemis tenera

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

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What

Yellow Bumble Bee Bombus fervidus

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

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Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

As usual, this one was moving fast from flower to flower. Legs full of pollen.

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What

European paper wasp Polistes dominula

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

Feeding on dill family flower.

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What

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucus

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

This one was working its way around a butterfly bush.

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What

eastern tailed blue Everes comyntas

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

This one was nipped in the area of the tail, so I am not super sure of the ID.

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Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

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Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

This very metallic blue bodied wasp with fine black bristles was feeding on nectar from a dill family plant.

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What

Eastern Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

Large caterpillar must have been last instar. Caterpillar feeding on dill.

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What

Milkweed Aphid Aphis nerii

Observer

jholmes

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

Clusters of 50-100 along stems of "Butterfly weed". Most of the aphids were without wings, two in the top of a stem had wings.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

jholmes

Date

July 30, 2013

Description

It was a cool day compared to recent days. High temperature was in the low 80s. Partly Cloudy. This Dolichovespula maculata was feeding on common milkweed.

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About

Long before he became the Conservation President, native New Yorker Theodore Roosevelt was an avid naturalist who loved the outdoors and kept detailed natural history notebooks.

Join us in celebrating the reopening of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial at the American Museum of Natural History with New York Is Wild! In this project, we’ll honor Theodore Roosevelt’s passion for nature by ...more ↓

This project is inspired by A Seasonal Guide to New York City's Invertebrates - we hope you'll use the monthly suggestions as an excuse to get outside, explore, and share the invertebrates you find with us. Check out the what else people are finding in New York in the New York City Species Guide!
10048-mini americanmuseumofnaturalhistory created this project on October 03, 2012
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