Utah is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including various caterpillars. From small and brightly colored to large and hairy, there’s something for everyone in the Beehive State.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah while exploring its wilderness.
Utah is home to a wide variety of caterpillar species, each one with its own unique characteristics. If you’ve ever come across a fuzzy, bright-colored caterpillar crawling along the ground and wondered what type of insect it was, this post is for you!
Here, we’ll provide an identification guide to the various types of caterpillars in Utah, including their habits and habitats.
From the iconic Tiger Swallowtail to the fuzzy American Dagger, let’s take a closer look at some of the caterpillars you’ll find in Utah.
Read on to learn more about these fascinating creatures!
1. Yellow-Striped Armyworm
The Yellow-striped Armyworm (Spodoptera ornithogalli) is the starter of this list of the types of caterpillars in Utah.
These caterpillars are typically yellow-green to dark green and have a distinctive yellow stripe running along their back.
They also have two yellow stripes on either side of the main body and may have orange spots and small tufts of black hair on their bodies.
The Yellow-striped Armyworm prefers moist grassy habitats, making it a common sight in Utah’s grassy fields and meadows.
In the adult stage, the Yellow-striped Armyworm has mottled gray wings with a characteristic yellow patch near the base of each wing. The adult moths feed mainly on nectar and do not cause any damage to crops or plants.
The Yellow-striped Armyworm’s caterpillar stage feeds on various host plants, including cabbage, kale, and alfalfa. While they can harm plants, they are not considered a major pest.
The Yellow-striped Armyworm is an important part of Utah’s diverse insect population and should be appreciated for its role in keeping the balance in nature.
2. Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar
The Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar is one of the many types of caterpillars in Utah. This particular species is black with a yellow stripe down its back and two rows of orange spots along its sides.
Its bright colors make it easily identifiable, and it can be found living in the garden or feeding on common plants such as milkweed, goldenrod, and thistle.
Further, the Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar is a solitary species, which means that it does not form large groups like some other caterpillars. It has a segmented body and long legs, and its head has a bright yellow patch surrounded by black markings.
Once fully grown, this caterpillar will form a chrysalis and emerge as a beautiful adult butterfly.
This caterpillar species is considered a beneficial insect because its larvae feed on certain garden pests, such as aphids and mites. They are also an important food source for some birds, such as hummingbirds and bluejays.
If you live in Utah and find these colorful caterpillars in your garden or backyard, consider yourself lucky!
Not only do they provide important ecological benefits to your local environment, but they also add an interesting visual element to your outdoor space.
3. Orange dog Caterpillar
The Orangedog Caterpillar (Euclea delphinii) comes third on our list of the types of caterpillars in Utah. It can be identified by its bright orange and yellow coloration, which gives it its name.
This caterpillar is typically found on the leaves of trees such as cottonwood and willow but has also been known to feed on other types of trees and plants.
The Orangedog Caterpillar is also known for its distinct defense mechanism. When threatened or disturbed, it will curl up and roll in a defensive position, sometimes striking out with its head or legs.
While this behavior is common among some caterpillars, the Orangedog Caterpillar is particularly adept at it, making it one of Utah’s more easily identifiable species.
These caterpillar species are not harmful to humans and can make a great addition to your garden. If you see them on your plants, you can simply leave them be – they won’t cause any damage and will soon transform into adult moths.
Enjoy watching these unique critters in their natural environment!
4. Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar
The Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar is one of the most commonly found types of caterpillars in Utah. This species is part of the silk moth family and can be found in many parts of the United States. It is often seen in June and July in Utah, as this is its main time to be active.
The Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar has a unique black, yellow, and white striped pattern on its body, which makes it easy to identify.
It has five pairs of prolegs that help it move around and climb trees and other vegetation. It also has long antennae and black tufts of hair that are visible from a distance.
The caterpillar is typically 2-3 inches long, making it one of the larger caterpillar species in Utah.
The Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar is usually harmless and does not cause any damage to plants or crops. It feeds primarily on oak leaves and other hardwood foliage and may also eat soft fruits such as apples and pears.
When threatened, it can produce an unpleasant green liquid, so it’s best to leave them alone if you encounter one.
If you’re looking for a type of caterpillar to add to your Utah wildlife collection, the Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar is a great option! With its distinct colors and patterns, it’s sure to stand out in any garden or backyard!
5. Purslane Caterpillar
Purslane Caterpillar is a common type of caterpillar found in Utah. It has a black head and black stripes on its back, with white and yellowish-brown stripes.
This species feeds on Purslane, which is a common weed in Utah. They are very small, usually only around a one-half inch in length, but they can grow up to 1.5 inches long.
The larvae of the Purslane Caterpillar can be identified by the bristly hairs and short spines on its back.
These are types of caterpillars in Utah that have a unique ability to curl up when disturbed. Thus, making them difficult to spot when they are hiding in the foliage.
In Utah, the Purslane Caterpillar feeds from mid-May to late September. They can be found on various plants, including many of the common weeds in the state.
When their food source dries up, they seek out other plants, such as clover and grasses, for sustenance.
If you think you may have found a Purslane Caterpillar in your garden or yard, it’s best to take steps to remove it before it has a chance to feed on your plants. Use gloves when handling them, as they may bite if they feel threatened.
6. Red Admiral Butterfly Caterpillar
The Red Admiral butterfly is one of the most recognizable species of butterfly found in Utah. Its caterpillar can also be seen throughout the state, providing an exciting glimpse into the life cycle of this beautiful insect.
The Red Admiral caterpillar has a black head with yellow stripes and a distinctive red-brown body that is covered in short hair.
It is often mistaken for the Monarch caterpillar, but it has an extra pair of prolegs near its head, and its body is not as rounded as the Monarch. It also has different coloring patterns, with light and dark bands on its back.
When it’s time to pupate, the Red Admiral caterpillar will spin a silken cocoon on the underside of a leaf or in a sheltered spot. The pupa can remain inside the cocoon for up to three weeks before emerging as an adult butterfly.
This is one of the special types of caterpillars in Utah and can be found in forests, fields, meadows, gardens, and other open areas.
This is where they can feed on their preferred food sources, such as nettles, thistles, and other wild plants. They are also drawn to fruits and vegetables, so keep an eye out for them around vegetable gardens or fruit trees.
7. Red-Humped Caterpillar
The Red-humped Caterpillar (Schizura concinna) is included in this list of the types of caterpillars in Utah. This species can be identified by its distinctive red hump and dark brown body with yellow spots.
The Red-humped Caterpillar can be found in various habitats, including open woods, gardens, and fields.
These caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants, including oaks, pines, and some fruit trees. They are also known to feed on aster family members, such as daisies and yarrows. When they are fully grown, they can reach up to two inches in length.
The Red-humped Caterpillar pupates on the ground in small cocoons made of leaves or soil. After the pupal stage, adult moths emerge and can fly away. The adult moths do not feed but rather mate and lay eggs for the next generation.
In Utah, the Red-humped Caterpillar can be seen from late spring through early summer. It is important to note that although this caterpillar can cause damage to plants, it does not threaten humans or animals.
8. Silver-Spotted Tiger Moth
The Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar is also one of the many types of caterpillars in Utah. As their name suggests, these caterpillars are a variety of Tiger Moth species and sport bold, silvery spots along their bodies. These caterpillars grow up to 2.5 inches long and feature distinctively hairy blackheads.
As they mature, the Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar molts five times, gradually changing color from green to grey and finally black.
Additionally, they have a light brown underside that is covered with soft hairs. When fully grown, these caterpillars form cocoons that eventually emerge as moths.
The Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar can be found across Utah, often clinging to the undersides of tree leaves. They prefer warm climates and feed mostly on oak and maple tree leaves.
To protect themselves from predators, these caterpillars will curl into a ball when disturbed and release an unpleasant odor.
Despite their somewhat unappealing appearance, the Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar plays an important role in the Utah ecosystem. They serve as food for birds and other animals, providing essential nutrients to the environment.
Additionally, the moths that emerge from the cocoons of these caterpillars are important pollinators.
Overall, the Silver-spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar is an important part of Utah’s natural landscape. Don’t be afraid if you find one of these fascinating creatures in your garden or backyard! They’re harmless and provide an important service to our environment.
9. Silvery Checkerspot Caterpillar
The Silvery Checkerspot caterpillar is a species of butterfly that can be found in the state of Utah. This type of caterpillar is one of the most common types found in the area and is recognizable by its distinctive black-and-white patterned body.
Its body has three main sections: a black head, white and black stripes down the middle, and a silver-gray bottom.
The Silvery Checkerspot caterpillar feeds on leaves from many different species of plants, such as dandelions, chicory, wild lettuce, and clovers.
This is one of the types of caterpillars in Utah that can also consume other insects to survive. And it has been known to feed on aphids, mites, and even other caterpillars.
This type of caterpillar can be identified by its unique shape and colors. It is generally grayish in color, with black stripes running down the middle and white spots along the sides.
The caterpillar’s body is covered with tiny hairs, and its legs are also covered with small black and white spots.
These caterpillars can be seen in various parts of Utah during summer. They prefer to live in meadows or grassy areas near wetlands.
Once they reach adulthood, they will migrate to other parts of the state to lay their eggs, which will then hatch in the fall season.
The Silvery Checkerspot caterpillar is an important part of Utah’s ecosystem and is essential for maintaining a balanced population of insect species in the state.
If you happen to spot one of these unique caterpillars during your time in Utah, take a moment to appreciate their beauty!
10. Slug Caterpillar
Utah is home to a variety of caterpillar species. One of the more common varieties you may encounter is the Slug Caterpillar. This unique species is easily identified due to its distinct shape and coloration.
The Slug Caterpillar has an oval, slug-like body shape with a smooth, slimy texture. Its yellow or orange coloring helps it blend in with the foliage in its habitat. It can reach up to 1 inch in length when fully grown.
Slug Caterpillars are usually found on trees, shrubs, and other plants where they feed on foliage, especially during summer.
While these caterpillars can cause minor damage to plants, they don’t typically cause enough harm to be considered a major pest.
In addition to being interesting to observe, Slug Caterpillars, one of the types of caterpillars in Utah, can also be beneficial. They are an important part of the food chain for many different bird species in Utah.
You don’t need to worry if you come across a Slug Caterpillar. They pose no danger to humans and are simply another fascinating part of nature.
11. Southwestern Corn Borer Moth Caterpillar
One type of caterpillar found in Utah is the Southwestern Corn Borer Moth Caterpillar (Helicoverpa zea). This caterpillar species are native to the United States and can be found in every state except Alaska.
They are found in many areas of Utah, including the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau.
The Southwestern Corn Borer Moth Caterpillar is an olive-brown or gray color and grows to about one inch in length. It has a white stripe down its back and black dots on its sides.
The caterpillar also has two spines at the end of its body, just before the head. It feeds mainly on corn but can also feed on other crops, such as sorghum and cotton.
The Southwestern Corn Borer Moth Caterpillar is a major agricultural pest in Utah due to its voracious appetite for corn and other crops.
Farmers must take steps to protect their crops from this caterpillar by using insecticides, planting early, and rotating crops.
If you come across this caterpillar in your garden or field, it is important to remember that it can be dangerous and should not be handled.
If you need help identifying this particular one of the types of caterpillars in Utah, please reach out to your local extension office for assistance.
12. Spiny Elm Caterpillar
The Spiny Elm Caterpillar (Nerice bidentata) is a caterpillar found in Utah and other North America. These caterpillars are generally brownish-gray in color and have a distinctive row of spines along each side of their bodies. They feed on various trees, including elm, maple, apple, and oak.
Adult moths of the Spiny Elm Caterpillar are light brown or gray and have dark, scalloped lines across their wings.
The adult moths lay eggs on the underside of the leaves of the food trees, and when the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the leaves. After several weeks of feeding, they form pupae and eventually emerge as adult moths.
These caterpillars are considered pests in some areas because they can defoliate trees, though they usually only cause minor damage.
If you suspect that your tree has been infested by these types of caterpillars in Utah, you should contact a local pest control expert to inspect the tree and recommend a treatment plan.
13. Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar
The Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar is one of the many types of caterpillars in Utah that you can find. This fuzzy little critter has a white body with yellowish-orange spots and tufts of black hair along its back. Its head is yellow with two black horns on either side.
These caterpillars are usually found throughout the state, feeding on broadleaf plants like sumac, cherry, apple, and cottonwood.
Though they are not considered a pest species, they can defoliate a plant if there is an especially large infestation.
To identify a Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar, look for the distinct pattern of yellow spots on its back. Its size ranges from about 1 to 2 inches long when fully grown.
These caterpillars will rear their heads and display impressive horns when threatened. If touched, the caterpillar will also release a small amount of urticating hairs, which can cause irritation to the skin and eyes.
14. Thistle Caterpillar
The thistle caterpillar is a common type of caterpillar found in Utah. It’s identifiable by its black body, yellow-brown head, and bright yellow or white stripes running down its back.
These stripes make it stand out against most other caterpillars, which helps to identify them easily.
The thistle caterpillar feeds primarily on thistles, though they have also been known to feed on other plants. They can be found from May through August, and during that time can be found resting on leaves or twigs.
When the thistle caterpillar is fully grown, it will turn into a dark gray moth with yellow spots on its wings. The adult moths fly from late summer to early fall.
These are types of caterpillars in Utah that are often seen in large groups. It is important to note that although they may look harmless, they can cause damage to plants when their populations become too large.
If you suspect that your plants may be infested with thistle caterpillars, it is best to contact a local expert or pest control specialist to help control the problem.
15. Tiger Moth Caterpillar
Regarding the types of caterpillars in Utah, the Tiger Moth Caterpillar is one of the most commonly seen species.
This distinctive black and yellow striped caterpillar is easily recognizable and can be found throughout the state.
Tiger Moth Caterpillars are fairly large in size, with a length of up to 2 inches (5 cm). They have a yellow stripe down their back, two pairs of yellow spots along their sides, and a black head.
The larvae feed on various leaves, including trees such as maple and birch, grasses, and other plants.
The Tiger Moth Caterpillar will pupate into an adult moth when fully grown. The moths are grayish-brown in color, with a white band across their wings and two brown dots near their head. These moths can be seen flying around during the day and evening in late summer and early fall.
As with other caterpillars, the Tiger Moth Caterpillar has the potential to cause skin irritation if touched, so it’s best to handle them with caution.
However, they pose no serious threat to humans and can be an interesting addition to your garden or outdoor space.
16. Two-Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar
The Two-tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar is one of the more recognizable types of caterpillars in Utah. It is found on various plants throughout the state and is easily identifiable by its black and yellow coloring and two distinct tails.
The Two-tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar can reach a length of up to 2 inches and has four or five yellow spots along its body. It has a white or yellowish-white stripe running down its back.
As an adult butterfly, this species is known as the Two-tailed Swallowtail and features a wingspan of up to 4 inches. It is mainly found in wooded areas and usually flies from late spring to early summer.
If you come across a Two-tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar in Utah, be sure to take some time to admire its colorful markings and watch it as it goes about its daily business. It may just surprise you with its beauty and grace!
17. Unicorn Caterpillar
The Unicorn Caterpillar (Schizura unicornis) is a type of caterpillar native to Utah that is a favorite among bug enthusiasts.
This fascinating insect can be found throughout the state, especially in warm months, and is an interesting species to observe in its natural environment.
The Unicorn Caterpillar is a type of moth larvae with a unique appearance. Its body is black or dark brown, and its head is reddish-brown in color.
The most distinguishing feature is the long, curved yellow spine that grows from its back. This spine gives the caterpillar its name; its shape resembles a mythical unicorn horn!
This caterpillar feeds on various plants, including elm, maple, boxelder, and linden trees. It can also be found munching on rose bushes and other shrubs.
The Unicorn Caterpillar produces a distinctive orange or yellow striped pattern on its wings as an adult moth.
If you are looking for fun and interesting types of caterpillars in Utah, the Unicorn Caterpillar should definitely be at the top of your list. Its unique appearance and behavior make it an intriguing species to watch in its natural habitat.
18. Variegated Fritillary Butterfly Caterpillar
The Variegated Fritillary butterfly caterpillar is one of the types of caterpillars in Utah. This species of butterfly is typically seen in the warmer summer months in the region, and their larvae can be identified by their distinctive orange-brown markings.
These caterpillars grow to be around 1 inch in length when fully mature, and they feed on various plants, including clover, violets, thistles, and more.
Their coloration helps them to blend in with their environment, making them more difficult to spot.
The Variegated Fritillary butterfly is an important part of Utah’s ecosystem, as it helps to pollinate wildflowers and other native plants in the area.
As such, it is important to protect these caterpillars when they are encountered in the wild. They should not be disturbed or collected for any reason, as this could disrupt the delicate balance of nature.
19. Western Tent Moth Caterpillar
The Western Tent Moth caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum) is one of many types of caterpillars in Utah. Native to the Western United States, these caterpillars are often seen in meadows and open woodlands.
Western Tent Moth caterpillars are black or brown and can range from about 1/2 inch to 1-1/2 inches in length. They have four pairs of red tubercles, two black spots, and two tufts of white hair.
The caterpillars can be seen feeding on various plants, such as conifers, shrubs, grasses, and clovers.
They construct a small tent-like shelter of silk and leaves in the late spring and early summer. This shelter protects them from predators while they pupate.
The adults have grayish wings with black spots and white or yellowish stripes and can reach up to 1-1/2 inches in length.
Western Tent Moth caterpillars can be found in many parts of Utah, including the Salt Lake Valley, Ogden, Provo, and Heber.
It is important to note that these caterpillars should not be handled or disturbed, as they may bite if provoked.
20. Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar
The larvae of this species feed on various host plants, including willow, cottonwood, and aspen trees. They are often found living on the leaves of these trees, but they can also be seen feeding on the flowers of other plants. The caterpillars can grow up to two inches in length.
When the larvae have completed their life cycle, they transform into chrysalids before emerging as adult butterflies.
If you’re lucky enough to spot this beautiful butterfly in Utah, remember that you’re looking at one of the many types of caterpillars in Utah that call the state home.
21. White Admiral Caterpillar
The White Admiral caterpillar is a common sight in Utah, often seen feeding on trees like birch, aspen, and maple. This species is easily recognizable due to its distinctive coloring and markings.
The caterpillar’s body is a bright green color with white stripes running down its back, while the head is a deep black.
The White Admiral caterpillar is capable of reaching up to two inches long and is often found feeding in groups.
It can be spotted in the warmer months of the year, with adults emerging between May and August.
As adults, White Admiral butterflies are a stunning sight. The wings are dark brown with a contrasting white band along the outer edge of each forewing.
These butterflies typically have a wingspan of about two inches, making them one of the larger butterfly types of caterpillars in Utah.
If you’re looking for an interesting insect to observe in your backyard, then the White Admiral caterpillar is an excellent choice! Its distinctive coloring and size make it a great addition to any wildlife-watching experience.
22. White-Lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
The White-lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is one type of caterpillar you may encounter in the state of Utah. This species is identified by its long body and pinkish-brown color.
Its wingspan can reach up to 3 inches, and its length can range from 1 to 2 inches. Its most notable characteristic is the white line that runs down its back, which gives this species its name.
The White-lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is a voracious eater, and it feeds primarily on the foliage of trees and shrubs.
Its diet consists of broadleaf trees such as maples and oaks and fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, apples, and lettuce.
These are types of caterpillars in Utah that are active from June to August and tend to congregate in large numbers during these months.
If you spot a White-lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar in Utah, it is important to leave it alone as it poses no threat to humans or other animals.
However, if it is causing damage to your plants, you can use insecticides or traps to control their numbers.
23. Yellow-Haired Dagger Moth Caterpillar
The Yellow-haired Dagger Moth caterpillar (Acronicta auricoma) is a type of caterpillar commonly found in Utah.
It has a distinct yellow and black striped body, and the coloration can vary from light yellow to dark orange depending on its age. Its head is black with yellow spots, and its legs are orange-yellow.
The adult Yellow-haired Dagger Moth has wings ranging from yellow to orange and dark brown markings near the edges. They also have a white fringe around the outside of their wings.
These are equal types of caterpillars in Utah, and they feed on grasses and other low-growing plants, including alfalfa and clover. They can be found in gardens, meadows, open fields, and grassy areas throughout Utah.
These caterpillars are known to curl up into a tight ball as a defense mechanism when disturbed. They may also release a foul-smelling liquid when threatened.
24. Yellow-Necked Caterpillar
Types of caterpillars in Utah? The Yellow-necked Caterpillar is one. It is a medium-sized caterpillar, measuring between 1 and 2 inches long. The body is yellowish-green in color, with a white head and four black spots near its tail.
The caterpillar has a unique yellow stripe around its neck, which gives it its name. Yellow-necked Caterpillars feed on various plants, including trees, shrubs, and grasses.
These caterpillars are especially fond of oak leaves, which they consume in large quantities. This can make them a nuisance for gardeners, as they can quickly defoliate a plant or tree. They are also known to feed on garden vegetables occasionally.
The adults of this species are moths, which have grayish-brown wings. The moths will emerge from cocoons in the summer months.
The adults do not feed but will instead focus on reproducing. They lay their eggs near the base of plants and trees, and the caterpillars will hatch the following spring.
While the Yellow-necked Caterpillar can be an annoyance for gardeners, it does play an important role in the ecosystem.
These caterpillars are an important food source for many birds and other animals. They also provide nutrients for the soil as their droppings decompose into organic matter.
So if you spot a Yellow-necked Caterpillar in your yard, don’t be too quick to try and get rid of it. These insects may be more beneficial than you think!
25. Owlet Moth Caterpillar
The Owlet moth caterpillar is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah. These fuzzy larvae come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from light green to almost black.
They are mostly found feeding on many plants and shrubs, including plants from the rose family and native Utah plants like yucca and sagebrush.
Also, Owlet moth caterpillars have distinctive tufts of hair that cover their bodies, helping them blend into their environment.
While not poisonous, their spiky hairs can be irritating if touched, so it’s best to observe these critters from a distance!
26. Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar
The Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar is one of the most common caterpillars you will encounter in Utah. It is typically found in deciduous forests, where it feeds on the leaves of trees such as oak and birch.
Its body is a bright green color with yellowish-orange stripes running down its sides. It also has short, fine hairs all over its body and two large eye spots near the front of its head.
Compared to other types of caterpillars in Utah, this species is also known for its impressive transformation. Once fully grown, it attaches itself to a tree or a wall and encases itself in a silken cocoon. After a few weeks, it emerges as an adult moth with a wingspan of up to five inches!
The Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar can be a nuisance when it eats large amounts of foliage, but they are an important part of the local ecosystem.
They provide food for birds, reptiles, and other animals, and their cocoons provide protection for other insects and small mammals.
So if you spot one while out and about in Utah, don’t be too quick to shoo it away—it’s just doing its part to keep the local ecosystem healthy.
27. Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar
You’ll find one of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah, and this is the Monarch butterfly caterpillar.
Their bright yellow, black, and white stripes make these colorful creatures easily identifiable. They feed on milkweed and can be found in many of Utah’s meadows and fields.
As they reach maturity, Monarch caterpillars form a chrysalis which will eventually turn into an adult butterfly.
Watching the transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly is a truly remarkable experience! Overall, it is not excluded from our just of the different types of caterpillars in Utah!
28. Io Moth Caterpillar
The Io Moth Caterpillar is a common caterpillar you may come across in the Utah region. It can be identified by its distinctive brown and white stripes and black spines. Its body is segmented and can reach lengths of up to two inches.
This caterpillar is known for its thick, furry coat. Its body has an orange-yellow head with a yellow line running down its back.
Rows of tiny black spines protect the entire caterpillar. It also has four bright yellow spots on its body’s sides near the head.
The Io Moth Caterpillar is usually found on leaves or tree trunks in many habitats. It is most commonly seen in forests and woodlands but can also be found in fields and gardens.
The caterpillar is a voracious feeder, eating various leaves and other vegetation. This species will pupate during the winter months and emerge as an adult Io Moth in the summer months.
If you’re lucky enough to find one of these particular types of caterpillars in Utah, be sure to observe from a safe distance and never touch it. It may look cute, but the spines are sharp and could cause a painful reaction if touched.
29. Imperial Moth Caterpillar
The Imperial Moth Caterpillar is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah. This species is found throughout the state, although they tend to inhabit drier areas like deserts and scrubland. These caterpillars are easily identifiable with their vibrant yellow, green, and black stripes.
Imperial Moth Caterpillars feed on various plants and trees, such as maples, oaks, and willows. They are active during the day and will usually stay on the same plant until they reach maturity.
When mature, they turn into large yellow and brown moths with yellow spots on their wings. If you find one of these beautiful types of caterpillars in Utah, take a moment to admire it before it takes flight!
30. Humped Green Fruitworm
One of Utah’s most common types of caterpillars is the humped green fruitworm (HGFW). It is a small green-brown caterpillar with a distinctive hump-like appearance on its back.
The HGFW feeds on many plants, including apples, pears, cherry trees, and weeds. It is often seen feeding in large numbers on these plants and can cause extensive damage if not controlled.
The HGFW is an important pest in Utah because it feeds on commercial crops such as apples, pears, cherries, and apricots. They also feed on ornamental plants, causing leaf drop, defoliation, and damage to buds and fruits.
To prevent this type of damage, it is important to inspect your plants regularly for signs of HGFW infestation. If you find them, you should immediately remove them by hand or use an insecticide to control the population.
31. Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar
The Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar is common in Utah’s gardens and forests. It is easily identifiable by its yellow and white stripes running down its back and its black head.
This caterpillar feeds on various plants, including trees, shrubs, and flowers. It has an impressive range of movement, allowing it to reach areas that other caterpillars cannot.
Although its name may sound scary, the Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar is actually harmless. It poses no danger to humans or pets but can damage plants if the population gets out of control.
It prefers to feed on dead or weakened leaves and grasses, so keeping your garden in good condition can help prevent a Hooded Owlet Moth infestation.
The Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar will pupate in late summer or early fall, eventually emerging as an adult moth during winter.
If you find one of these caterpillars in your garden, simply leave it alone. They are types of caterpillars in Utah that pose no threat and should not be disturbed.
32. Hitched Arches Moth Caterpillar
One of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah that you will find is the Hitched Arches Moth Caterpillar.
This type of caterpillar can be found on trees, shrubs, and other vegetation, and they are known for their bright colors and distinctive patterns. The adult moth is tan-gray with a wingspan of about 1 inch.
The Hitched Arches Moth Caterpillar has a white or yellow stripe that runs down the length of its body, with black stripes along either side.
It also has many small yellow spots scattered across its back and sides. When disturbed, it can roll into a ball, making it difficult to catch.
These caterpillars can be found all over Utah, but they’re most often spotted in late summer and fall when they come out to feed.
These caterpillars are easy to identify due to their distinctive coloring and patterning, and they make an interesting addition to any garden or backyard.
If you’re lucky enough to spot one, you may even get to witness them transforming into beautiful adult moths!
33. Hickory Tussock Moth
We are discussing the types of caterpillars in Utah here! The Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar is a common type of caterpillar in Utah.
Found throughout the state, this species can be identified by its white and black fur and orange spots along its body.
These caterpillars are typically seen on hickory, walnut, ash, and oak trees, often feeding on the leaves.
The Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar is unique among other types of caterpillars in Utah in that they produce tiny filaments that contain venom.
The caterpillars can cause a mild skin rash and itchy sensation if handled. Fortunately, the venom is not strong enough to cause any serious harm to humans.
Despite the presence of their mild venom, these caterpillars are beneficial to have around. The larvae feed on leaves and bark, helping to thin out overgrown branches and encourage healthy growth.
Additionally, the adults are pollinators, so their presence can help flowers in your garden or landscape thrive.
If you see Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillars around your property, it’s best to leave them be. They are not a threat to humans or plants and will generally move on after they’ve had their fill of leaves and branches.
With their help, your gardens and outdoor spaces can be healthier and more vibrant!
34. False Unicorn Caterpillar
If you’re looking to find a variety of caterpillars in Utah, one of the most interesting species to look out for is the False Unicorn Caterpillar (Syntomeida epilais).
This striking caterpillar is found throughout much of the eastern United States, and its range also extends into Utah.
The False Unicorn Caterpillar can grow to be up to three inches long, and it features a black body with orange and yellow stripes running down its back.
It has a pair of distinctive horns that stand out from its head, which is longer and more pointed than other caterpillars. These horns can be used as a defense mechanism against predators.
The False Unicorn Caterpillar’s diet consists mainly of legumes such as beans and clovers, but it can also feed on other plant leaves. As it matures, this caterpillar will eventually transform into the beautiful False Unicorn Moth.
If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these types of caterpillars in Utah, you’re sure to be mesmerized by its vibrant colors and unique horned appearance. So, keep your eyes peeled while exploring Utah’s natural beauty!
35. Fall Webworm
The Fall Webworm is a type of caterpillar you’ll see quite often in Utah during the late summer and early fall months.
This species of caterpillar can be identified by its brownish-gray body with black spots on each segment and white hairs along its sides. It gets its name from the white webbing it spins around the leaves of trees as it feeds.
The Fall Webworm is considered to be a pest because it feeds on the leaves of trees such as fruit trees, shade trees, and evergreens.
If left unchecked, it can cause extensive damage to the foliage of these trees. To prevent an infestation, regular inspections of your trees are recommended.
If you find any signs of an infestation, take steps to control the population. You can do this by removing the webbing and caterpillars by hand, stick, or insecticide.
In addition to being a nuisance, the Fall Webworm also serves an important role in the ecosystem by providing food for birds and other animals.
So if you spot one of these types of caterpillars in Utah, remember that they’re just doing their job!
36. Elm Sawfly
The Elm Sawfly is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah. These small, black, and yellow-striped insects feed on elm tree leaves and can cause defoliation.
They usually become active in mid-May through June and can be a nuisance to homeowners with elm trees in their yards.
The larvae typically reach lengths of 1/2 to 3/4 inches long and are often mistaken for other species of caterpillars.
Elm Sawfly larvae are voracious eaters and will quickly strip an entire branch of its leaves. To prevent infestation, it is important to inspect elm trees frequently for signs of larvae.
As well as to prune dead or damaged branches to reduce the available food sources for the caterpillars. Insecticides can also be applied to protect elm trees from sawfly infestations.
37. Cross-Striped Cabbage Worm
The Cross-striped Cabbage Worm (also known as the Imported Cabbageworm) is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah.
It is a greenish-yellowish caterpillar that can grow up to 1 inch long. It gets its name from the white stripes it has on its back and sides, which look like a cross.
This species is a major pest of cabbage and related crops, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
The caterpillars feed on the leaves and can quickly defoliate entire plants. While they will not kill a plant, they can make them less productive and more susceptible to disease.
In addition to its destructive behavior, this species can also be identified by its distinct life cycle. Adult butterflies lay their eggs on the undersides of the leaves.
Once hatched, the caterpillars will feed for two or three weeks before entering a pupal stage. After two or three weeks, they will emerge as adult butterflies, and the cycle will start over again.
If you want to keep these pests out of your garden, the best way is to handpick the caterpillars off of your plants and dispose of them far away from your garden.
You can also use natural predators such as birds or parasitic wasps to help control their population.
38. Common Sawfly Larva
A sawfly larva is a type of caterpillar commonly found in Utah. Sawfly larvae look similar to other types of caterpillars in Utah, but they are not true caterpillars. They have six or more abdominal segments and lack the prolegs of caterpillars.
In Utah, sawfly larvae can be found in most habitats, including woodlands, marshes, and mountain meadows.
These caterpillars feed on various plants, including conifer needles and the leaves of various deciduous trees.
Sawfly larvae are often identified by their bright colors, which range from yellow to green to brown. They also have distinct dark stripes running lengthwise down their bodies.
The best way to identify a sawfly larva is to look for the typical sawfly S pattern on its back. Sawflies are often confused with butterflies and moths, so it’s important to look for this pattern when trying to differentiate between them.
If you come across a sawfly larva, be sure to observe it from a safe distance, as it can give a painful bite if disturbed.
Sawfly larvae are beneficial to the environment because they help keep pest populations in check by feeding on aphids and other plant-eating insects.
So if you ever come across one in Utah, take the time to appreciate these fascinating little critters!
39. Common Buckeye Butterfly Caterpillar
On the list of the types of caterpillars in Utah, this is one of the most recognizable caterpillars in the region due to its striking, eye-catching colors.
The larva has a dark brown head with a yellow body and black stripes down its sides. It also has white spots and yellow-orange bumps on its back.
This type of caterpillar is typically found in open meadows, fields, and gardens, feeding on various plants such as snapdragons, plantains, clovers, and petunias.
This caterpillar is considered a nuisance pest as it often feeds on commercially grown plants or is used for landscaping purposes.
The Common Buckeye Butterfly Caterpillar can be distinguished from other caterpillars by its unique coloration and size.
When fully grown, it can reach lengths up to 1 1⁄2 inches. Once it pupates and transforms into an adult butterfly, it has a wingspan that measures 2 1⁄2 to 3 inches.
Although this type of caterpillar can be found in most of Utah’s open areas, they are more commonly spotted in the spring and summer months when they actively search for food sources.
While they may seem like a nuisance, they provide essential nutrients to the soil and help pollinate plants.
40. Cimbicid Sawfly
The Cimbicid Sawfly is not left out of our list of the types of caterpillars in Utah. This fascinating species has a unique look and appearance compared to other caterpillars.
Its body is covered in yellow or white hair, and its head is black with two white stripes running down the middle.
The Cimbicid Sawfly feeds on various types of trees and shrubs, including willows, poplars, and birches. These caterpillars are often seen hanging from the branches of trees, where they are able to feed and pupate without being disturbed. They tend to prefer shady areas and can sometimes be seen in large numbers.
The Cimbicid Sawfly is an important member of the Utah ecosystem. It helps to keep tree and shrub populations healthy by controlling their growth.
Additionally, its unique appearance makes it an interesting addition to any insect-loving collection.
41. Cecropia Silkmoth Caterpillar
The Cecropia Silkmoth Caterpillar is one of the most iconic types of caterpillars in Utah. This moth species is part of the Saturniidae family and is found across North America.
It is recognizable by its striking yellow and black stripes and distinctive tufts of black hair on its body.
The caterpillar feeds on plants such as willow, maple, and elm. When it has grown to full size, it spins a large, white cocoon that hangs from trees or other vegetation.
The adult Cecropia Silk Moth has a wingspan of up to five inches and can be seen flying around in late summer and early fall.
Though they aren’t particularly dangerous to humans, it’s still important to be cautious when handling Cecropia Silk Moth Caterpillars due to their stinging hairs. If you plan to touch or observe one, wearing gloves is recommended.
These caterpillars are an amazing sight to see in the wild and an important part of the local ecosystem. So it’s important to respect them and take steps to ensure their safety.
42. Camouflaged Emerald Moth Caterpillar
One of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah is the Camouflaged Emerald Moth Caterpillar. This species of moth can be found throughout the state, from its southern deserts to the higher-elevation regions in the north.
The caterpillars of this species are pale green in color, with several black stripes and spots along their bodies. They have a row of small spines running down their backs, and some may also have red markings.
Likewise, these are types of caterpillars in Utah that feed on grasses, sedges, and other plants. They blend into their surroundings as they feed, making them difficult to spot.
Once they reach maturity, they transform into striking moths that flutter around in the night sky.
The Camouflaged Emerald Moth Caterpillar is a great option if you’re looking for caterpillars to observe in Utah. Not only are they interesting to look at, but they can also provide insight into the local environment.
43. Cabbage Looper
The Cabbage Looper is one of the most common caterpillars you’ll see in Utah. This caterpillar is pale green with black stripes and can be found on various cabbage and related vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower.
It feeds exclusively on these plants and can cause extensive damage to them if left unchecked.
The best way to combat this caterpillar is to inspect your crops regularly and pick off any that are found. If the infestation becomes too large, you may need to use chemical pesticides.
Additionally, adding beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings to the area can help reduce the population of these caterpillars.
With a little effort, you can protect your crops from these pesky pests, also types of caterpillars in Utah.
44. Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
The Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar (Paonias excaecata) is one of the most common caterpillars found in Utah.
This species is easily identified by its striking appearance, with a bright yellow body covered in brown and white stripes. The head is also striped and features two large, black eyespots that give this caterpillar its name.
The Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar feeds on various deciduous trees, shrubs, and herbs, including chokecherry, maple, elm, cherry, hawthorn, and rose. It is commonly found in gardens, parks, forests, and other habitats with plenty of host plants.
The caterpillar’s life cycle spans from spring to late summer and includes four stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult moth.
When fully grown, the caterpillar creates a cocoon for itself in the soil or among leaf litter. Inside the cocoon, it will remain until spring, when it will emerge as an adult moth. After mating, the female moth lays her eggs on the same plants the caterpillars feed on.
The Blinded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar is one of the beneficial types of caterpillars in Utah because it helps control garden pests and maintain healthy plant populations.
If you spot one of these striking caterpillars in your yard or garden, be sure to appreciate it from a distance!
45. Black-Headed Pine Sawfly Larva
The Black-headed Pine Sawfly Larva is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah. It has a distinctive black head and a green body covered with black and yellow spots.
This type of caterpillar is quite common in pine trees and can be found throughout the state. It feeds on pine needles and prefers fresh new growth, which is why it’s often seen on young, newly planted trees.
When touched, the Black-headed Pine Sawfly Larva can give off a noticeable odor that some describe as smelling like maple syrup.
This smell is actually an adaptation to help it ward off predators. As its name suggests, this caterpillar is a member of the sawfly family, which is closely related to bees and wasps.
The larvae typically feed until they pupate and transform into adults. These caterpillars can often be found in large groups and may even cause minor damage to a tree if there are too many of them.
However, they are not considered pests, as they typically do not harm the tree significantly. If you spot a group of these caterpillars, simply leave them alone and let them complete their life cycle.
46. Black Carpet Beetle Larva
One of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah is the black carpet beetle larva. These caterpillars can be identified by their small black bodies and white stripes on the sides of their bodies.
They are generally seen during the summer months and feed on fabrics, carpets, and other items in the home.
In addition to being an eyesore, they can also cause damage to these items if not taken care of quickly. The black carpet beetle larva is typically found near windows and in dark corners of homes.
They usually measure around 2 mm in length and will range from dark gray to black in color. They can also have brown markings on their body that look similar to stripes or dots.
If you find these particular types of caterpillars in Utah inside your home, it’s important to take action immediately.
Vacuuming regularly can help keep them at bay, and using a pesticide to kill any remaining larvae can also help.
In extreme cases, professional extermination may be necessary. Taking these precautions can help ensure that your home is free from these pests and that your fabrics and carpets remain safe from damage.
47. Banded Woollybear Caterpillar
The Banded Woollybear caterpillar is one of the most common caterpillars you’ll find in Utah. This type of caterpillar can be identified by its thick, fuzzy fur and alternating black and red/brown bands. Its body is typically less than 2 inches long and often found in wooded areas near mountains.
The Banded Woollybear, one of the types of caterpillars in Utah, feeds on various plants, including grasses, shrubs, flowers, and herbs.
It can also be found munching on clover and dandelion leaves. They are considered harmless and do not threaten humans or pets.
These caterpillars have a unique behavior where they curl up into a tight ball when touched or disturbed. When this happens, the caterpillar begins to rock back and forth, making it appear as if it is rolling along the ground. This behavior is thought to be a way of protecting themselves from potential predators.
So if you’re out in Utah and spot a caterpillar that has alternating black and red/brown bands and looks like it’s rolling along the ground, then you’ve probably found yourself a Banded Woollybear!
48. Army Cutworm
Army Cutworm caterpillars are a common sight in Utah. They are often mistaken for moths due to their moth-like appearance, but they are actually caterpillars. They range in color from gray to dark brown, with shades of orange or yellow on their backs.
Army Cutworm caterpillars typically feed on grasses, clover, and other vegetation and can live in open fields and meadows throughout the state.
If you come across one of these types of caterpillars in Utah, it is best to leave them alone as they are harmless.
49. Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar
If you live in Utah or are visiting the state, you may be wondering what types of caterpillars in Utah are there that you can find.
One of the most common caterpillars you’ll find in Utah is the Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar.
The Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar is a large species that can reach up to two inches in length. It has a green body with yellow stripes and a black head with black spots on either side. The caterpillar also has long, hairy spines covering its body.
The Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar feeds on many different types of plants, including anise, fennel, dill, parsley, and carrot. They will also feed on other plants if these are not available.
When mature, the Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar will form a chrysalis and emerge as a beautiful Anise Swallowtail Butterfly.
The adult butterfly will have brown wings with yellow spots and a white band across them.
So if you’re looking for different types of caterpillars in Utah, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar!
50. American Lappet Moth Caterpillar
The American Lappet Moth Caterpillar is one of the most common caterpillars you’ll see in Utah.
Native to North America, this species is quite distinctive due to its large size and fuzzy hair. It can grow up to two inches long and has a mottled black, brown, and white appearance.
Meanwhile, its body has several yellowish stripes running across it and a reddish-orange head. Like many other types of caterpillars in Utah, the American Lappet Moth Caterpillar feeds mainly on deciduous tree leaves, including maple, elm, oak, willow, and aspen.
As it feeds, it will leave behind a characteristic webbing made from silk that it produces from special glands.
While the American Lappet Moth Caterpillar may look intimidating, it is harmless to humans. In fact, its fuzzy fur actually helps it blend into its environment, keeping it safe from predators.
When threatened, the caterpillar will arch its back and may even drop its leaf off as a defense mechanism.
If you happen to spot an American Lappet Moth Caterpillar in Utah, consider yourself lucky! This species is an important part of the local ecosystem and serves as food for birds and other small mammals.
51. American Lady Caterpillar
The American Lady Caterpillar is a type of butterfly that is commonly seen in Utah. This beautiful caterpillar can be found throughout the state and is easily identifiable by its orange and black stripes.
The American Lady Caterpillar feeds on various types of plants, including clover, dandelions, sunflowers, alfalfa, and other grasses. As it matures, it will transform into an adult butterfly with a wingspan of about 2 to 2.5 inches.
The American Lady Caterpillar is an important part of the food web in Utah, as it is a major food source for birds, lizards, and spiders. It’s also an important pollinator, aiding in pollinating flowers and other plants throughout the region.
This species of a caterpillar is relatively easy to spot during the spring and summer months and can often be found in areas with lots of vegetation.
If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of this amazing creature, be sure to keep your eyes open in places like gardens, fields, and wooded areas.
With a little luck, you’ll spot one of these lovely creatures, which are also types of caterpillars in Utah!
52. Afflicted Dagger Moth Caterpillar
Lastly, the Afflicted Dagger Moth Caterpillar is one of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah. The caterpillar has a gray body with yellow markings and black stripes running along its length. It is typically found on leaves of deciduous trees and can grow up to 1 inch long.
The Afflicted Dagger Moth Caterpillar feeds on various deciduous trees, such as poplar, maple, elm, ash, and cherry. It is often seen in early spring and late fall when these trees are in bloom.
The caterpillar can be a nuisance in gardens due to its habit of eating large amounts of foliage, but they pose no real threat to humans or animals.
However, they can be a nuisance if they invade your home since they will eat fabrics, carpets, and other materials that contain plant fibers. If left unchecked, they can cause significant damage.
When disturbed, the Afflicted Dagger Moth Caterpillar may raise its head up and make loud clicking noises with its mandibles. It does this to ward off predators, but the noise may also frighten some people.
If you come across an Afflicted Dagger Moth Caterpillar, the best thing to do is leave it alone. Removing it from its natural habitat can harm the insect, so it is better to observe it from a distance. We are now done with our list of various types of caterpillars in Utah!
Utah is home to a wide variety of caterpillars that can be found across the state. From the bright, fuzzy caterpillars of the monarch butterfly to the dark, spiny caterpillars of the swallowtail butterfly, these crawling creatures can make for an interesting sight in nature.
In this blog post, we looked at some of the most common types of caterpillars in Utah, including what they look like and where they live. Read the article above to learn more about these little critters!