Monthly Archives: March 2016

Garden Tiger Moths

Part of the “woolly bear” caterpillar family, Garden Tiger Moth larvae are densely covered in hairs that vary from black on the top of their body to reddish brown along the lower portion.  They do not have the banded appearance of their well-known relative the Banded Woolley Bear.  Caution should be used when handling caterpillars […]

Tent-Making Caterpillars

The western and sonoran tent caterpillars along with fall webworm and tiger moths are the four tent-making caterpillars that inhabit the state of Colorado.  The time frames in which these caterpillars create their tents vary from spring through mid-summer; however, a majority of the tents seen after mid-summer belong to fall webworms.  Although the silken […]

“Tomato Hornworms”

A combination of two species of hornworms, “tomato hornworms” includes both the tomato hornworm and tobacco hornworms.  As adults these hornworms are Five-Spotted Hawk Moth and the Carolina Sphinx Moth respectively.  Tomato Hornworms are common garden pests commonly found on tomato, eggplant and other nightshade family plants.  Tobacco hornworms are the species most commonly found […]

Tussock Moths (Douglas Fir)

The Douglas Fir Tussock Moth during seasons of severe outbreak often cause extreme defoliation of spruce, Douglas fir and other true fir species of evergreen trees.  Damage starts at the top of the tree and trees encountering multiple seasons of infestation will receive substantial damage leaving them susceptible to bark beetles and other fatal infestations.   […]

Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillar (Isabella Tiger Moth)

Of the many species of moths present in Colorado, the Isabella Tiger Moth is actually much more commonly recognized in its larval form, the Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillar.  Often encountered as they cross roads and pathways in the fall and early winter, Banded Woolly Bears are as their name suggests banded with black and reddish […]

Monarch Butterflies

Truly amazing butterflies, Monarch are likely one of the most recognized butterflies in The United States.  This is in part because of their wide distribution.  Monarch Butterflies can be found anywhere that milkweed is located.  Milkweed is the nearly exclusive food source for monarch caterpillars where as adults feed on flower nectar.  Adults will return […]

Giant Silk Moths – Cecropia Moth & Glover’s Moth

As their common family name indicates, giant silk moths are fairly large in size with the Cecropia and Glover’s moths in Colorado having wingspans of nearly 5 ½ inches.  These two species are very similar and yet have distinct variations that separate the two.  The first variation is their location.  For the Cecropia moth, their […]

National Learn about Butterflies Day! Meet the Colorado State Insect – The Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly

On April 17, 1996 the Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly was officially named the Colorado State insect.  Overcoming a last minute bid to be replaced by the honey bee, the effort to have the Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly named as the state insect was an effort headed by 4th grade teacher Melinda Terry and her students from Aurora, […]

Grasshoppers

It has been decades since grasshoppers have ravaged Colorado crops in the way that Rocky Mountain locust did in the late 1800’s and very early 1900’s; however, there are still periodic outbreaks of other species that result in crop, garden and landscape damage.  One of the most common insects observed during outings, there are roughly […]

Field Ants

Field ants are known for producing large mounds of dirt that can be responsible for ruining the appearance of lawns, inhibiting turf growth and cause difficulties with lawn care including mowing.  Mounds are frequently three to four feet in width and up to two feet in height.  Not only do the mounds cause problems for […]