Woolly Bear Weather Prediction

  The woolly bear is also called woolly worm or fuzzy worm. This adorable little guy holds the position of being able to forecast the coming winter weather. The Woolly Bear caterpillar has 13 distinct sections along its body of either rusty brown or black.  It is said, the wider the rusty brown sections (or the more brown sections there are), the milder the coming winter will be. The more black there is, the more severe the winter. 

 

Ayasha finds Woolly Bear in Michigan January 2020

 

  On my walk along the rails of trails yesterday, I (Ayasha) found one of these interesting, little fuzzy guys roaming along the path within the leaves of the edge of the woodlands. To see them crawling around this time of year is not usual. 

 

Woolly Bear Weather Prediction

    The fuzzy caterpillar generally feeds off the underside of the beautiful leaves on trees, shrubs, or weeds is where it also lays their eggs. Generally, in the winter you can find the woolly bear caterpillar under a warm pile of leaves, a rock, or a fallen log. The caterpillar's soft, fuzzy fur provides substantial enough warmth for it to survive the winter. 

 Woolly Bear Weather Prediction

 

According to Entomologists at the University of Massachusetts, There is possibly a connection between winter severity and the orange bandwidth of a woolly bear caterpillar. The Entomologists point to their findings, the number of orange versus black hairs on a woolly bear has to do with the age of the caterpillar. In other words, the longer the caterpillar lives, the more orange hairs it will have.  The length of time a caterpillar spends as a caterpillar depends upon how soon it began feeding in the spring. The more orange, the longer the caterpillar has been feeding. So their conclusion is this: Bandwidth does say something about a late cold winter or an early warm spring. However, it’s telling you about the previous year, not the coming year. Wide orange bands simply mean the caterpillars went through a warmer winter than those with narrow orange bands.

  

  


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