44 Different Types of Caterpillars in Colorado

Different Types of Caterpillars in Colorado
Photo by Philippe Leone

Caterpillars are a common sight in Colorado during the summer months, and it is important to be familiar with the different species in the state.

This blog post will provide an overview of the various types of caterpillars in Colorado, including their physical characteristics, habitats, and behaviors.

By understanding the different types of caterpillars in Colorado, you can help to protect them and appreciate the diversity of wildlife in the area.

Caterpillars are an essential part of the natural Colorado ecosystem. Not only do they provide a source of food for other wildlife, but they also play a role in pollinating plants and flowers. 

If you’re curious about the types of caterpillars in Colorado and how to identify them, this blog post is for you.

We’ll be exploring the different species of caterpillars found in the state, their physical characteristics, and tips on identifying them. Keep reading to learn more!

1. Silver-Spotted Skipper Caterpillar

The Silver-spotted Skipper Caterpillar is a type of caterpillar found in Colorado.

It is small in size, with its length ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 cm and width from 0.6 to 1 cm. This caterpillar has a light grey body and several white spots across its surface.

Also, it has a brownish-orange head with two large orange-yellow eyespots. The larvae feed on various herbaceous plants, including legumes and Asteraceae.

The Silver-spotted Skipper Caterpillar can be identified by looking at its distinctive coloration and markings. 

Additionally, its size is an important identifying feature since it is smaller than other types of caterpillars in Colorado.

The Silver-spotted Skipper Caterpillar is an essential species in the local ecosystem as they help maintain a balance in the food web by providing food for other animals.

2. Silvery Checkerspot Caterpillar

The Silvery Checkerspot caterpillar is a common species found throughout Colorado. They can be found on various plants and flowers, ranging from lupines to wild strawberries.

These types of caterpillars in Colorado are light to dark green, with a few yellowish markings along their sides. 

They also have a dark stripe that runs down the length of their bodies. The head and tail of this caterpillar are usually black or dark brown.

The Silvery Checkerspot caterpillar feeds on leaves and other plant material, making it an essential part of the food chain in Colorado. 

Further, they have considered a beneficial species because they help control plant-eating pests such as aphids and other insects.

As adults, they emerge as moths and are essential pollinators for many plants in the area.

In addition to helping keep the food chain balanced, they are also an essential part of the local ecosystem and provide a food source for birds, mammals, and other wildlife.

3. Slug Caterpillar

The Slug Caterpillar, also known as the Great Ash Sphinx, is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Colorado.

It is light green with a dark brown and yellow-tipped tail. Its head is round, and its body is elongated, resembling a slug more than a typical caterpillar. 

The Slug Caterpillar can be found on ash trees and other deciduous trees throughout Colorado. They are especially active in the spring and summer months when the weather is warmer.

When touched, the Slug Caterpillar will raise its head and spread its tail in a defensive stance. 

It also may produce a yellow liquid that has a foul odor. This liquid can irritate skin and should be washed off immediately if contact is made. The Slug Caterpillar is harmless to humans and poses no threat.

4. Spiny Elm Caterpillar

The Spiny Elm Caterpillar, or Ursaria spp., is one of Colorado’s most common caterpillar species.

These small caterpillars are usually found on elm trees and can be identified by their yellow-to-white bodies, which are covered with black spikes.

They are types of caterpillars in Colorado that grow up to an inch long and feed on both dead and living leaves. 

These caterpillars form a pupa when fully grown and emerge as an adult spiny elm moth.

To help protect your trees from spiny elm caterpillars, you should remove any egg masses found on the tree’s leaves or branches. Pruning away infested areas will also help reduce the population of this pest.

Furthermore, an insecticide approved for caterpillar control can help keep these caterpillars away from your trees.

5. Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar

The spotted tussock moth caterpillar (Lophocampa maculata) is a type of caterpillar found in Colorado. It is a fairly large species, growing to about 2.5 inches in length.

The spotted tussock moth caterpillar, one of the different caterpillars in Colorado, has several distinct features. 

Its body is covered with short yellow or white hairs, with black, yellow, and orange stripes down its back. It also has four black tufts on its back that give it an unmistakable look.

The spotted tussock moth caterpillar can be seen in the late summer and early fall months in the foothills and mountains of Colorado. 

They feed on trees and shrubs, including oaks, willows, poplars, birch, maples, and more. They can cause serious damage to plants, especially when found in large numbers.

So it is essential to recognize them early and take steps to remove them from your yard or garden.

6. Thistle Caterpillar

The Thistle Caterpillars are easily recognizable types of caterpillars in Colorado. It is a black caterpillar with white and yellow stripes, and its body is covered in hair.

The hairs are sharp, making it one of the most prickly caterpillars in the area. Meanwhile, it can be seen feeding on thistle plants, hence the name.

Thistle caterpillars are beneficial for controlling thistle populations as they can eat up to 500 plants annually. 

Identifying a Thistle Caterpillar

The easiest way to identify a Thistle Caterpillar is by its black body with white and yellow stripes and spiky hair.

They are usually around 1 inch long, although they can grow up to 1.5 inches. As they get older, they become more yellow and less black. 

They also have four black stripes on their sides and several yellow spots on their back.

It’s important to note that the spikes can be very sharp, so caution should be taken when handling this caterpillar.

7. Unicorn Caterpillar

The Unicorn Caterpillar (Schizura unicornis) is a colorful moth throughout the United States, including Colorado.

It has a unique appearance with its bright yellow and blue stripes and bright orange tufts that give it a “unicorn” look.

The caterpillar grows to around 2 inches in length and lives on willow, alder, and oak trees. 

When it is ready to pupate, this unicorn caterpillar drops to the ground and builds a cocoon.

The adult moth has an orange head, a dark brown body, and white wings with brown spots.

It flies at night, and the moths have an unusual pattern of flying in circles, often around lights. 

Going further, this species is considered to be of the least concern due to its wide range and large population size.

While the caterpillars can cause some damage to trees, they are generally not considered to be a major pest.

8. Variegated Fritillary Butterfly Caterpillar

The Variegated Fritillary Butterfly caterpillar is a type of caterpillar found in Colorado. This species has a striking, bright orange and yellow pattern that is very easy to identify.

The caterpillar typically measures between 1/2 and 3/4 inches long and has an upright posture on the tip of the abdomen. 

The caterpillar can usually be found feeding on the leaves of plants such as wild strawberries, violets, and various other plant species.

As they mature, they will form a chrysalis, eventually metamorphosing into their butterfly form. This species is considered common throughout much of Colorado. 

They are active from late spring to early fall and can be seen in rural and urban areas.

If you want to observe these types of caterpillars in Colorado, look around areas where their food plants are growing.

With a little patience, you should be able to spot one and watch it transition into its adult butterfly form.

9. Western Tent Moth Caterpillar

The Western Tent Moth Caterpillar is a common caterpillar found in Colorado. This caterpillar species is easily identified by its distinctive tent-like pattern on its back.

The caterpillar’s body is mostly black, with red and yellow spots and stripes. 

The most distinguishing feature of this caterpillar is the orange and yellow tent-like structure that covers its back. This structure is made up of silken webs and is used as protection from predators.

The Western Tent Moth Caterpillar, one of the various types of caterpillars in Colorado, is often seen in wooded areas or on the edge of fields.

It feeds on various plants, including grasses, leaves, and other vegetation. When disturbed, it will curl into a ball and use its tent-like structure to protect itself.

If handled, the caterpillar can produce an irritating substance from its body which can cause skin irritation.

10. Tiger Moth Caterpillar

The Tiger Moth Caterpillar is also one of the more recognizable types of caterpillars in Colorado.

They are medium-sized caterpillars with yellow and black stripes that form a distinctive pattern down their back.

The adults of this species have bright orange wings with black stripes, which helps make it easier to identify.

This species can be found in wooded areas and grassy meadows throughout the state. These caterpillars feed on many kinds of plants, including some trees and shrubs.

It’s best to observe them from a distance since they have sharp spines on their bodies which can irritate them if touched.

It is important to properly identify these caterpillars before attempting to handle them, as some species may be poisonous or dangerous.

11. Two-Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar

The two-tailed swallowtail caterpillar is one of the most common caterpillars found in Colorado. The caterpillars are bright green and can be up to 1.5 inches long when fully grown.

These caterpillars feed on various plants, including ash, lilac, and willow. They are often seen in gardens and wooded areas. 

These caterpillars have blackheads, yellow markings on their bodies, and two distinctive tails on their hind end.

These caterpillars can curl up into a defensive position and reveal their bright red underbelly when disturbed.

The two-tailed swallowtail butterfly is a spectacular sight in Colorado’s wilds. The adult butterflies have bright orange wings with a large eyespot on each wing and black markings.

They feed on a variety of nectar sources and are essential pollinators. If you see a two-tailed swallowtail caterpillar, leave it alone, as it may turn into an incredible butterfly!

12. American Dagger Moth Caterpillar

The American Dagger Moth Caterpillar is a type of caterpillar found in Colorado. This species of the caterpillar is black with white stripes and is covered in long, soft hairs.

It has red and blue patches on its body and can grow up to 2 inches in length. 

The American Dagger Moth Caterpillar feeds on the leaves of oak, birch, elm, ash, apple, and willow trees. This caterpillar is most commonly seen in July and August when it is most active in Colorado.

The American Dagger Moth Caterpillar is a beneficial species as it helps to control pest populations and keep the population of these trees in check. 

When disturbed, the American Dagger Moth Caterpillar may emit a yellowish-orange liquid that can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

This caterpillar species should not be handled as they can cause skin irritation. If you find one of these caterpillars in Colorado, the best course is to observe them from a distance and leave them alone.

13. Afflicted Dagger Moth Caterpillar

The Afflicted Dagger Moth Caterpillar is a type of caterpillar found in Colorado.

It is easily identified by its white body and black and yellow markings along the sides. This species is commonly found feeding on willow, apple, and birch trees. 

They are types of caterpillars in Colorado that may also feed on other vegetation, such as grasses and weeds.

These caterpillars can grow up to two inches in length and are often seen wandering around the woods for food.

When touched, they can release a foul-smelling fluid from their body, which is meant to deter predators.

These caterpillars may not seem like a major concern for most people. However, it is important to note that they may still cause some damage to plants when present in large numbers.

Afflicted Dagger Moth Caterpillars have been known to defoliate trees, leaving them vulnerable to other pests.

It is important to monitor these caterpillars closely to ensure that the trees in your area are kept healthy and pest-free.

14. American Lady Caterpillar

Like other caterpillars, the American Lady Caterpillar is a butterfly found throughout Colorado.

These are also types of caterpillars in Colorado with a wingspan of about two inches and typically have a brown and white patterned body.

The upper wings are usually orange, yellow, or reddish brown with an array of white spots. The underside of their wings is light tan. 

These caterpillars can be found near wildflowers and vegetation, where they feed on nectar and pollen.

They also like to lay their eggs on plants such as clover, alfalfa, thistle, and other aster family members.

The American Lady Caterpillar is quite common in Colorado and can be seen flying around during the warmer months.

They are important pollinators that help support the local ecosystem and play a vital role in food production for animals and humans. 

Although they are not major agricultural pests, they can still cause some damage to crops if not managed properly.

Be aware of their presence and take action if necessary to protect your crops from them.

15. American Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Speaking of the different types of caterpillars in Colorado, the American Lappet Moth Caterpillar is one of them.

This caterpillar species are usually gray or light brown and is covered in black or dark brown hairs. It can grow around 1.5 inches in length and is usually found on deciduous trees and shrubs. 

They feed on the leaves of these plants and have four pairs of prolegs along their body, as well as two horns on the front of the head.

The adults of this species have dark brown wings with white patches and usually fly in the early evening hours.

These caterpillars are known to become parasitized by wasps and flies, which lay eggs inside of the caterpillar.

The larvae of these parasites then feed off the host caterpillar until it is mature enough to emerge from its cocoon.

To prevent these parasites from attacking, the American Lappet Moth Caterpillar releases pheromones that repel them.

This species can be found in Colorado from May to August and is an important part of the local food chain.

16. Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar

The Anise Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar is a species of caterpillar that can be found in Colorado. It is a relatively small caterpillar, typically measuring only 1 to 2 inches in length.

The coloration of this caterpillar varies, but they typically range from a pale yellow to light green, with black and white stripes running along the body. 

The Anise Swallowtail caterpillars feed on the foliage of various plants, such as fennel, dill, parsley, and carrots.

These caterpillars can be seen in wooded areas and urban settings throughout Colorado. The Anise Swallowtail caterpillar is an important part of the ecosystem in Colorado. 

These caterpillars are an essential food source for many species of birds, including chickadees and bluejays.

These particular types of caterpillars in Colorado also provide a food source for predatory wasps and spiders.

As these predators control the population of the caterpillars, they also help to keep the balance of nature in Colorado.

17. Banded Woollybear Caterpillar

The Banded Woollybear is an iconic species of caterpillar in Colorado and can be found in various habitats.

These caterpillars are medium-sized, with black and brown striped bands running along the length of their bodies.

When fully grown, they can measure up to three inches long and have hairy fur that appears woolly. 

The Banded Woollybear, one of the types of caterpillars in Colorado, feeds primarily on grasses, weeds, and other plant material.

In winter, these caterpillars enter a state of hibernation, known as diapause, to survive the cold months.

This caterpillar species is an important part of Colorado’s ecological balance and an essential food source for birds and other wildlife.

18. Bent-Line Gray Moth Caterpillar

The Bent-line Gray Moth Caterpillar is an inchworm found in Colorado and other parts of the United States.

It has a light brown coloration with white lines running down its back and a tuft of black bristles at the tip of its abdomen. This caterpillar feeds on deciduous tree leaves such as maple, cherry, and willow. 

Uniquely, they are types of caterpillars in Colorado too. They are generally harmless to humans, though caution should be taken to avoid contact with their bristles.

These caterpillars can be found in many areas of Colorado, typically during the late summer months when they are most active.

19. Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

The Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is one of the more interesting types of caterpillars in Colorado.

It is light green and yellow striped with a black tuft of hair on its head. It prefers to feed on plant leaves like raspberry but will also consume other plants like aspen and birch trees.

It is also known for its ability to create a defensive posture by curling up into a tight ball when disturbed.

The Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is mostly active during late summer and fall and is found in forested areas or open fields. If threatened, it will make a loud clicking sound with its mandibles.

If handled, the Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar may release a foul-smelling substance that can irritate the skin.

Its larvae are susceptible to pesticides, so it is best to use natural controls to control an infestation.

20. Camouflaged Emerald Moth Caterpillar

The Camouflaged Emerald Moth Caterpillar is an interesting species of caterpillar found in Colorado. They have an emerald green color that helps them blend in with their environment.

They have black heads and yellow stripes on their body, which help them further disguise themselves from predators. 

The larvae feed on various low-growing plants, such as clover, dock, and goldenrod. They can often be seen on garden plants or in the wild.

These caterpillars can reach up to 2 inches in length and tend to move slowly. 

They also produce silk webbing around the leaves of the plants they feed on, which helps protect them from other insects.

They are types of caterpillars in Colorado that are active during the day but may hide during the night. When disturbed, they curl up defensively and make hissing noises.

The Camouflaged Emerald Moth Caterpillar is harmless to humans and is a welcome sight in gardens and wild areas of Colorado.

21. Cecropia Silk Moth Caterpillar

The Cecropia Silk Moth Caterpillar is a moth species found in Colorado and other parts of the United States.

They are large, reaching lengths of up to 5 inches, and are a vibrant yellow-orange color.

These caterpillars feed on various trees and shrubs, including fruit trees, maples, willows, poplars, birches, alders, elms, and even house plants. 

Once mature, the Cecropia Silk Moth Caterpillar pupates into a beautiful moth with white bands outlined in black.

The moth’s wingspan can reach up to 6 inches, and its body is covered in beautiful black and brown scales.

While their larvae may cause some damage to plants and trees, the adult moths pose no harm to humans or nature.

22. Common Buckeye Butterfly Caterpillar

The Common Buckeye Butterfly is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Colorado.

The Common Buckeye Caterpillar is a large, hairy, brown, and black-striped caterpillar that can reach lengths up to two inches.

It can be found on trees and shrubs, including buckeye trees, cottonwoods, and willows. 

This caterpillar feeds primarily on foliage and can occasionally be found on the ground when looking for food or shelter. They prefer dry, sunny habitats and feed in small groups.

The Common Buckeye Caterpillar is an important part of the Colorado ecosystem as it is one of the few species of butterfly that lives year-round in the state.

The caterpillar also serves as a food source for various animals, such as birds and small mammals.

Furthermore, this species helps to maintain the balance of nature by controlling the population of some plant species by consuming their leaves.

In addition, the Common Buckeye Caterpillar is an essential source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

23. Eastern Tent Caterpillar

The Eastern Tent Caterpillar is a species of caterpillar native to Colorado and much of the United States.

They can be identified by their distinctive black, yellow, and blue markings and long, bristly hairs.

These caterpillars typically grow up to two inches in length and feed on fruit trees, including apple, cherry, and crabapple.

In the spring, they build their distinctive white silken tents in the branches of the trees they inhabit. 

Eastern Tent Caterpillars can also become pests when they become too numerous and begin to strip a tree of its leaves.

If left unchecked, this can weaken the tree, leaving it susceptible to disease and other problems. 

To prevent infestations, it is important to keep an eye out for signs of these specific types of caterpillars in Colorado and take action if necessary.

Insecticides can be used to control an infestation but should only be applied according to label directions and with the help of a professional.

24. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio glaucus) is a species of caterpillar found in Colorado and throughout much of the eastern United States.

The larvae are yellow and black, with a striped pattern running down its body. When mature, it can reach up to 4 inches in length. 

Furthermore, they feed on various plants, such as maple, poplar trees, and wildflowers.

The adult butterfly of this species is also distinctive with its yellow and black stripes, large wingspan, and long tail-like appendages.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar is common in Colorado, especially during the late spring and summer months.

They can be seen feeding on leaves and flowers or resting on tree trunks and branches.

If you are lucky enough to spot one, be sure to take the time to observe this beautiful creature on our list of the types of caterpillars in Colorado!

25. False Unicorn Caterpillar

The False Unicorn Caterpillar is a moth found in the mountain regions of Colorado. This beautiful creature is usually green and has a white stripe along its back.

The False Unicorn Caterpillar is an active feeder often found on deciduous trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. It is especially fond of grasses. 

These types of caterpillars in Colorado feed mostly during the night and hide during the day. False Unicorn Caterpillars can reach up to 2 inches in length and have spikes along their bodies.

They can also be distinguished by their yellow-orange spots along the sides of their heads and a bright orange line that goes around the circumference of their body. 

The False Unicorn Caterpillar is unique among other types of caterpillars in Colorado due to its camouflage capabilities.

This species has evolved to be able to blend in with its surroundings. This allows them to hide from predators while they feast on foliage in the area. 

False Unicorn Caterpillars are also known for their impressive displays of mimicry. They use their coloring to imitate other species of caterpillars or even small birds and insects to scare off potential predators. 

Overall, the False Unicorn Caterpillar is an interesting moth species found in the mountains of Colorado.

Its unique coloring and mimicry techniques make it an interesting subject for study. As it continues to evolve, it will surely become even more fascinating.

26. Forest Tent Caterpillar

The forest tent caterpillar is one of the most commonly found types of caterpillars in Colorado.

These caterpillars are usually black with yellow stripes and have a very noticeable white dot on their back. They can grow up to an inch long and often build webs in trees and shrubs. 

This caterpillar species feeds on many types of foliage and is a major pest for farmers. The adult moth is yellow-brown with black spots and stripes.

The female moths lay their eggs on the underside of leaves, and the caterpillar hatches in spring.

27. Galium Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

The Galium Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Colorado.

It has a green body with yellow stripes and a dark head. It can grow up to 4 centimeters long, making it relatively large for a caterpillar. 

Its range stretches from central Canada to the western United States, including Colorado.

It typically feeds on plants from the Galium family, such as bedstraws, but it also eats various other plants. 

The Galium Sphinx Moth Caterpillar has a unique defense mechanism; it will roll up its body into a ball when disturbed. This helps protect the caterpillar from predators and allows it to escape danger.

28. Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar

The Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar is a colorful species found in Colorado. They are found on the lower stems of willow, cottonwood, and aspen trees. The adults are bright yellow with a wingspan of 1 inch, and they feed on nectar. 

The caterpillars have blackheads and a body of yellow, pink, black, and green bands.

These are also one of the many types of caterpillars in Colorado that are very small, usually around 1/4 inch long.

When threatened, the Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar will curl its body up and hide its head.

This species has no real defense mechanisms other than hiding, so it relies on its camouflage to avoid predators.

They are considered beneficial insects because they feed on many plants that can cause damage to the environment, including thistles and dandelions.

These caterpillars are a beautiful sight in Colorado and can be seen from spring through summer.

29. Hahncappsia Moth Caterpillar

The Hahncappsia Moth Caterpillar is a beautiful species of caterpillar found in Colorado.

This species can be identified by its pale gray and light brown coloring with a yellow-orange line down its back. It also has small hairs and a yellow band on the sides of its body. 

The Hahncappsia Moth Caterpillar feeds on the leaves of various plants, including grasses, wildflowers, and weeds.

These caterpillars are most active during the summer and can be found in the Rocky Mountain region. They are also known to be one of the most common types of caterpillars in Colorado.

The Hahncappsia Moth Caterpillar is harmless and does not sting or bite people or animals.

However, it may cause some damage to garden plants if there is an overpopulation of them in the area.

As with all species of caterpillars, they are essential to the local ecosystem as they feed on plants and provide food for birds and other animals.

If you are interested in learning more about the Hahncappsia Moth Caterpillar or other types of caterpillars in Colorado, it is best to contact a local expert or research online.

30. Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar

The Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar is also one of the many types of caterpillars in Colorado.

These white and black caterpillars can grow up to 1 inch in length, and their distinct black, white, and orange-tipped hairs give them a unique appearance.

The larvae are active during summer and can be found on trees such as hickory, walnut, cherry, apple, and elm. 

These caterpillars are considered a pest by gardeners and farmers due to the damage they cause to trees and plants.

It’s important to remember that these caterpillars are essential to the ecosystem as they provide food for other wildlife.

31. Hitched Arches Moth Caterpillar

The hitched arches moth caterpillar is commonly found in the Colorado area. It has a distinctive orange head and black and white stripes along its body and is covered in tufts of black bristles.

The caterpillar feeds on a variety of different types of plants, including grasses, clover, and dandelion. 

They are often found in fields, gardens, and other areas where these plants are abundant. They will generally feed during the day while hiding in the grass and other vegetation at night.

There are still more types of caterpillars in Colorado that we are yet to discuss. Don’t stop reading now!

32. Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar

The Hooded Owlet Moth caterpillar is one of the many caterpillars found in Colorado.

This caterpillar species is characterized by its distinctive black and yellow stripes, making it relatively easy to identify. It also has a white head, which gives it a distinctive look. 

The caterpillars feed on various trees, including oaks, sycamores, maples, ash, and willow. While they may be difficult to find, they are common throughout the state.

The Hooded Owlet Moth caterpillar can be found throughout Colorado but prefers areas with plenty of shrubs and trees. 

They are generally active during the day and tend to hide in their burrows at night. When disturbed, they can emit a foul smell as a defense mechanism, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.

While the caterpillars may not be harmful, it is essential to note that their droppings can carry diseases and parasites, so it is always best to wear gloves when handling these creatures.

33. Imperial Moth Caterpillar

There are many types of caterpillars in Colorado, and the Imperial Moth caterpillar is one of them.

This caterpillar has a unique appearance, with an orange and yellow body with small black spots throughout. It also has white tufts of hair on its head and abdomen. 

These caterpillars are often seen feeding on the leaves of trees such as oak, hickory, and maple. When fully grown, they reach up to 2 inches in length and pupate before emerging as moths. 

The Imperial Moth caterpillar can be found in most parts of Colorado during summer. It is important to note that while they are not dangerous, they may cause damage to some plants if left unchecked. 

If you find one of these caterpillars on your property, removing it as soon as possible is best to prevent any further damage.

However, if you want to observe them, it is best to do so in a contained area so that they cannot escape and cause harm elsewhere.

34. Io Moth Caterpillar

The Io moth caterpillar is a type of caterpillar found in Colorado. This species is bright green with a series of yellow and white stripes down its body and head, giving it a distinct look.

The Io moth caterpillar also has a row of tufts along its back made of stiff hairs. 

This species feeds on the leaves of trees such as oak, hickory, walnut, and sweetgum but also feeds on many other types of plants.

While this species is not poisonous, it does have several urticating hairs on its body, so it’s best to leave it alone if you come across one.

The Io moth caterpillar will eventually turn into an adult moth with beautiful pink and purple wings with an orange border.

The adult moths can be seen flying around during the summer months and laying their eggs on the underside of leaves. 

These caterpillars provide essential food sources for birds, reptiles, and other animals, so they are an essential part of the local ecosystem.

If you are lucky enough to see one of these caterpillars or adult moths in Colorado, take the time to appreciate their beauty!

35. Luna Moth Caterpillar

The luna moth caterpillar is an eye-catching species of caterpillar found in Colorado. They are types of caterpillars in Colorado that have yellow-green bodies and long, thin black antennae.

As they mature, they become more white with bright yellow spots. The adult Luna Moth is large and has beautiful green wings with a white border and yellow markings. 

Luna moths feed on various trees and shrubs, including maple, birch, sweet gum, and elm.

The luna moth caterpillars are often seen in large groups along tree trunks or the edges of fields. You may even see them at night when they come out to feed in the summer months. 

Knowing that these caterpillars are toxic to some animals if ingested is essential. While not a threat to humans, you should always take care when handling them.

If you find a Luna Moth Caterpillar in your garden or yard, it’s best to leave it alone and let nature take its course.

36. Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar

The Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar is one of the most iconic types of caterpillars in Colorado.

With its bright yellow, black and white striped body, it is easy to identify. It feeds on milkweed plants and can reach up to two inches in length. 

Moreso, the caterpillar molts five times before becoming a chrysalis and emerging as an adult monarch butterfly.

It is an important part of the native ecosystem, pollinating plants and providing food for birds and other animals.

The Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar is found throughout Colorado, from the mountains to the plains. 

They are most active during the summer months when mating and laying eggs. During this time, they can be spotted on milkweed plants, feeding on the leaves.

Gardeners can also attract them by planting milkweed in their yards or gardens. People can help support monarch butterfly populations and keep them thriving by providing suitable habitats.

37. Orangedog Caterpillar

The Orangedog caterpillar is a type found in Colorado, particularly in the Western part of the state.

It belongs to the family Notodontidae and has two horns at its back end. This caterpillar is typically bright orange, hence the name. 

The Orangedog caterpillar feeds on various plants and can often be found on the bark of trees or flowering plants.

It is considered to be a pest species, as it has the potential to cause significant damage to vegetation.

The Orangedog caterpillar is not particularly dangerous to humans but can still cause skin irritation if touched.

It is best to avoid contact with these particular types of caterpillars in Colorado as much as possible.

If you find one in your garden or backyard, it can be removed with a broom or a vacuum cleaner.

It is important to remember that handle these caterpillars with care, as they can be quite fragile.

38. Owlet Moth Caterpillar

The owlet moth caterpillar is an interesting type commonly found in Colorado. These furry little critters come in various colors, including orange, yellow, and gray, and may have several rows of distinctive spines along their bodies.

Owlet moth caterpillars are often seen feeding on the leaves of trees and shrubs and can cause some damage to the foliage. 

While they may be a nuisance to gardeners, they play an essential role in the food chain by providing a food source for birds and other animals.

Like many other caterpillars in Colorado, owlet moth caterpillars undergo metamorphosis and eventually transform into adult moths.

This process typically takes place over several weeks, and the moths can be seen flying around in the evenings. 

For those interested in observing this transformation up close, it is best to collect the caterpillars during the spring and summer, as they are most active.

With patience and a keen eye, one can observe these fascinating creatures change from small caterpillars to beautiful moths.

39. Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar

The Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar is one of the most striking types of caterpillars in Colorado. It is found throughout the state, and its colors make it instantly recognizable.

This caterpillar is predominantly black and features a pair of yellow stripes running the length of its body. 

Additionally, the head and tail are both blue, and the end of its tail features a sharp spike.

The caterpillar feeds on several different plant species, including pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, and wild morning glory.

When fully grown, it will pupate in a chrysalis and emerge as an adult butterfly.

40. Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar

The Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar is one of the many types of caterpillars in Colorado.

A caterpillar is a moth species’ larval form, found throughout North America and sometimes spotted in Colorado.

This caterpillar species is distinct from other species with its unique mottled brown and cream coloration and long, white-tipped antennae. 

These caterpillars are usually found on tree leaves, feeding on foliage and eventually pupating before emerging as adults. They are also a part of the Saturniidae family, which is known for its large size.

The adult Polyphemus Moth is large, with a wingspan of up to five inches and distinct eyespots on each hindwing. 

It has yellowish or greenish-gray coloring and can be found in many areas of Colorado during the warmer months.

While the caterpillar form of this species is relatively harmless, the adult moth does have the potential to cause damage to trees and plants. As a result, it’s essential to be aware of its presence in your area.

41. Purslane Caterpillar

The Purslane caterpillar is a butterfly caterpillar species commonly found in Colorado. It is a small caterpillar with black and white stripes along its body and a reddish-brown head.

Its coloration gives it excellent camouflage when in the environment, allowing it to blend in with the surroundings. 

The Purslane caterpillar feeds on various species of plants, including various types of purslane, as well as on other plants.

These caterpillars can be found during the summer when they feed actively. These caterpillars are most active in the evening when looking for food. 

During the day, they can often hide under leaves or in other shady areas. Once the sun sets, they will feed on whatever plant material is available.

When disturbed, they curl up into a ball and may even drop to the ground to avoid predators.

The Purslane caterpillar is an important part of the Colorado ecosystem, providing food for other animals.

42. Question Mark Caterpillar

The Question Mark caterpillar is a distinctive and unique species found in Colorado. It has a white, black, and yellow striped body with long, slender antennae.

It has a bright yellow face, black eyes, and a reddish-orange pattern on its wings. 

Of the different types of caterpillars in Colorado, this one feeds primarily on elm, hackberry, and oak leaves.

As it matures, it will form a protective cocoon and emerge as a gray moth. The Question Mark caterpillar can be seen in Colorado from late June to mid-July.

43. Red Admiral Butterfly Caterpillar

The Red Admiral Butterfly Caterpillar is a type of caterpillar found in Colorado. It has black and yellow stripes running down its back and a white head with a pair of black horns.

This caterpillar can be seen from late spring to early fall, feeding on the leaves of various plants such as nettles, clovers, and violets. 

The Red Admiral Butterfly Caterpillar is considered a pest in Colorado due to its voracious appetite for foliage.

However, if you look closely at one of these caterpillars, you’ll see its vibrant colors make it quite beautiful. We are almost done with this list of the several types of caterpillars in Colorado.

44. Red-Humped Caterpillar

Finally, the Red-humped caterpillar comes last on this list of various types of caterpillars in Colorado.

The caterpillar is black and red, with white spots and long hairs. It has a distinctive red hump on its back and can reach up to 4 cm in length. 

The caterpillar is a common sight in the region and can be found in gardens and on trees, particularly fruit trees.

It feeds on various plants’ leaves and is considered a minor pest in the area. When disturbed, it may rear its front end in a defensive posture.

In its mature stage, the caterpillar will pupate into an adult Red-humped moth.

Conclusion

Caterpillars can be found worldwide, and Colorado is no exception. With its diverse habitats and range of temperatures, Colorado is home to many caterpillars. 

Colorado has many different types of caterpillars, from large to small, colorful to plain.

In this blog post, we looked at some of the most common types of caterpillars in Colorado. We discussed their color, size, habitat, and more.

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