Pyrrharctia isabella

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Isabella tiger moth
Pyrrharctia isabella1.jpg
IC Pyrrharctia isabella caterpillar.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Arctiidae
Genus: Pyrrharctia
Binomial name
Pyrrharctia isabella

The Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) lives in temperate and cold northern regions, including the Arctic.

Its caterpillar, the banded woollybear larva, overwinters and freezes solid. It produces a body fluid which helps its tissues avoid cold damage. In the spring it thaws out, emerges from its hibernaculum, eats, and grows in the short Arctic summer.

In temperate climates, this species has one or two broods depending on its location. In the Arctic, the warm period is so short that a woollybear feeds for several summers before it pupates. Each winter it freezes. A woollybear of another species lives through as many as 14 winters, before it pupates, and becomes an adult, having only a few-day mating period.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. David Attenborough series Frozen Planet, co-produced by the BBC tv. Series 1, episode 2, at around 26min 45sec.