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Caterpillars of Eastern Forests

Red-humped Oakworm (Symmerista canicosta)


JPG-Photo of Red-humped Oakworm

Attractively marked with yellow (or orange), black, and white. Head and eighth abdominal segment bright orange. Subdorsal yellow or orange stripes separated by 5 black and 4 white stripes, black stripes wider than white, thin outer white stripes often broken. Similar to white-headed prominent (S. albifrons), in which black and white dorsal stripes are more similar in width; more common in South. All Symmerista gregarious in early instars, then solitary in last instar. Food: many forest trees but especially oaks, beeches, and chestnuts. Caterpillar: July to September; 2 generations in South, 1 in North.


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