I found this guy on a sunflower leaf at the farmer’s market. Was happily munching on the leaf but seems to like peaches (the fibrous part of the flesh) even more. The underbelly is black while the top and sides are yellow with black patterning. Each section has several nodes from which several white hairs grow. The two topmost nodes of each section are red. Has four hairs on the head that are longer than the rest.
Thanks, I can’t wait to find more out about this guy! (Lafayette, IN, US)
Your caterpillar is the smartweed caterpillar, while the moth is called the Smeared Dagger moth.
The caterpillar colors can vary somewhat. These caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees. Therefore they are found in meadows, woodlands and nearby areas.
There would be one generation in northern IN.
The spines on this caterpillar may “sting” leaving some skin irritation if mishandled…be careful.
Purdue is my alma mater!! Go, Boilers!