MOTH caterpillars - Group #1

This is a younger instar of the Smeared Dagger Moth. Photographed at Siebenthaler Fen, October 2, 2016. 

Another Unexpected Cycnia caterpillar, munching away on its host plant, butterfly weed (orange milkweed). All of the Unexpected Cycnias on this page were photographed at Cox Arboretum. I have also found this species at Germantown MetroPark. I usually find Unexpected Cycnia caterpillars in the month of June. 

Smeared Dagger Moth. I found several of these gorgeous caterpillars by one of the ponds at Cox Arboretum on August 28, 2015. This is a common species around ponds and wetlands. 

Spotted Apatelodes Moth. These caterpillars can be either white or yellow. (Note that another common caterpillar in our area, the American Dagger Moth, looks somewhat similar to this species. American Dagger caterpillars also have yellow "fur" and small tufts of black hair. However, Spotted Apatelodes caterpillars have a distinctive pattern of black dots along their sides, shown here.)

Spotted Apatelodes caterpillar peers at the camera. I found this cute little guy at Huffman Prairie on August 6, 2016. I have seen a couple of these caterpillars at Huffman Prairie, and also one at Cox Arboretum. 

Unexpected Cycnia Moth. Finding this caterpillar was certainly unexpected for me: this species is endangered and uncommon in Ohio. 

A pair of Unexpected Cycnias nestled in butterfly weed flowers. 

These are Delicate Cycnia caterpillars. These pale gray caterpillars are less colorful than their cousins above, but Delicate Cycnias are definitely the more common of the two species. These caterpillars remind me of downy gray bird feathers. They feed on milkweed and dogbane.