Cousin Larry Rea and I were looking for butterflies and found this caterpillar chomping on a White Leaf Lupine “Lupinus albifrons” Pea Family (Fabaceae). This is probably a Rancher’s Tiger Moth “Platyprepia virginalis” and the color bands are the opposite of the common Wooly Bear Caterpillar (Isabella Tiger Moth “Pyrrharctia isabella”) and it is more “hairy”. You never know what you are going to see when you go a sauntering.
Comments from a much more knowledgable source: “I’m not 100% sure, but it looks like Platyprepia, possibly Platyprepia virginalis. Apparently, they over winter as caterpillars, feed on herbs and grasses in wet meadows, and complete development by June.”
Photo: Deschutes River Canyon near Maupin, Or. 4/19/08. © 2008 mkellar