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A tiger moth caterpillar (Spilosoma dubia) moves along a twig.Ah, springtime in Texas. Perfect weather for margaritas on the patio, pollen-induced allergy attacks, and, in many backyard gardens, sidewalks, and roads across the state, an invasion of fuzzy black caterpillars.Often called woolly bear or salt marsh caterpillars, these bristly critters often crawl out of their winter hiding spots this time of year. With many flowers and plants in full bloom across the state, spring is an ideal time for caterpillars to gorge themselves on food, gathering the energy they’ll need to weave a cocoon and undergo their transformation into moths later in the season. Rather than a single species, these caterpillars are a large group belonging to the subfamily Arctiinae, which includes more than six thousand species. “When people see a fuzzy caterpillar like…

The post Why So Many Fuzzy Black Caterpillars Are Crawling Across Texas appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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