Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
More than 50 species of dagger moths occur in the East. Although adults of this genus might be described as monotonously white, gray, and black, their caterpillars are delightfully varied. Middle and late instar caterpillars often differ strikingly in coloration. In cherry dagger moth, middle instars bright green with broad yellow and red dorsal stripe; head with red band over vertex forking to either side of triangle, commonly with triangle and cheeks greenish. Last instar charcoal black with stunning red dorsal line; head black, sometimes reddish at top. Both forms sparsely set with soft hairlike setae. Food: cherry species. Caterpillar: June to October; 1 or 2 generations in North.