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Description and photo of the caterpillar of the Kaya bear


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The appearance of hairy caterpillars of a butterfly bear (or Pyrrharctia isabella) is a well-known sign of the arrival of spring in North America. These charming fluffy caterpillars can be grown at home as an educational project for children or for their own aesthetic pleasure. You will have to provide the caterpillar with a good home, feed it, and then release it when the caterpillar turns into a butterfly.

Ursa Kaya

Ursa Kaya

Scientific classification
Type of:Arthropods
Squadron:Winged insects
View:Ursa Kaya
Latin name Arctia caja
Linnaeus, 1758

Ursa Kaya (lat. Arctia caja) - a nocturnal butterfly from the bear subfamily in the family Erebidae.


Wingspan 50-80 mm. Fore wing length 25–33 mm. The color of the upper side of the wings is brown-white with an irregular, sinuous pattern, characterized by great variability. The upper side of the hind wings is light red with five large rounded spots, the color of which varies from black to bluish. The head and chest are dark, red-brown, the abdomen is red, with black transverse stripes. Butterflies are polymorphic. Each individual has an individual pattern of the upper side of the wings. The upper side of the hind wings can be red or yellow, with many spots or without them at all, or solid black.

In individuals developing under the same conditions, sometimes color variability is observed, and sometimes these differences are so great that butterflies can be mistaken for representatives of various species.

Range [edit |

American white butterfly

Dipper caterpillars are nocturnal. They build their spider webs and live there in small colonies. At night, individuals leave the nests and go in search of food. As morning approaches, the caterpillars return to their nests again. This way of life continues until they mature. Fortified individuals are able to survive one by one.

Homeland is North America, from which individuals migrated to the territory of modern Europe. Today, this species can be found in Ukraine, Turkmenistan, the southern and western parts of Russia, and also in many regions of the Middle East.

Ursa Kaya

This pest is common throughout the European part of Russia. Its representatives are also found in Siberia and the Far East. The entire body of the caterpillar is covered with long hairs, which it uses for self-defense.

At the moment of danger, the caterpillar of the she-bear Kaya curls up and protects its vital organs from attack in this way. At the ends of the hairs there is a poisonous liquid. It can lead to the development of an allergic reaction in humans. Of particular danger to children.

Years of butterflies are observed in late summer, so the caterpillars appear in the fall. Black furry individuals winter well in snags or dumped tree trunks.

Butterfly Ursa Kaya

Leopard bear

The caterpillar of the largest of the family of butterfly bears. The wingspan of a winged insect reaches 8 cm. The name was given due to its color, which looks like stripes of a leopard. Found in the eastern United States. Caterpillars feed on herbaceous plants, as well as shrubs and foliage of trees.

Family Features

All bears have relatively large sizes. They have a plump body. The fore wings are triangular in shape, most species are colored brightly. Hind wings smaller, often modest in color. A calm or resting butterfly dipper folds its wings with a house, hiding their brightness.

An important feature inherent in the whole family is poisonousness. The blood of these butterflies has a bitter aftertaste - this is for those who did not understand the motley wing signal and nevertheless decided to attack. Most poisonous creatures look catchy, as if warning predators of their own characteristics. It is difficult to digest such prey, it can cause irritation in the digestive system or allergies.

Youth is no worse protected. The caterpillar of the bear butterfly not only has bitter poisonous blood, but its hairs also emit a strong irritating substance. She should not only be chewed, but even touched. Due to this feature, both adult butterflies and caterpillars practically have no natural enemies.

Before turning into butterflies, the caterpillars have a lot of work to do and an important task - to feed on for the future. Therefore, they are omnivorous and voracious. Caterpillars eat shrubbery and herbaceous plants, foliage of trees. It harms the plantations.

Before pupation, the caterpillar weaves a loose silky cocoon. It weaves its own hairs into the walls. The pupa inside the cocoon is motionless.

Bear Butterfly Lifestyle

Bears are common throughout the world. Entomologists know about 11 thousand species representing the family of dipper. At least 60 species of these butterflies live in the European part of Russia.

Most of the bears are nocturnal or evening, but there are certain species that are awake during the day, although there are such a minority.

It is noteworthy that the bears do not have a developed oral apparatus. Adult sexually mature individuals - adults - do not eat food.

Dipper Madam

In the middle lane, the lady bear butterfly is very common. It is quite large, wingspan reaches 5.5 cm.

These butterflies live in shady and humid places in June and July. They inhabit ravines, riverbanks, forest glades and glades. Caterpillars eat leaves of shrubs and herbaceous plants: willow, blackberry, wild strawberry. Pupation occurs in spring.

American polar bear

A beautiful snow-white butterfly with a furry head is actually a formidable pest for agriculture and forestry. This species originally from North America in the middle of the last century came to Europe, from where it spread throughout Ukraine, the south and west of Russia, penetrated into Turkmenistan and other countries of the Middle East. Experts believe that this could not have happened due to natural reasons and the butterflies got to the mainland with goods transported across the Atlantic.

White moth, as this butterfly is sometimes called, has medium sizes, its wingspan does not exceed 3.6 cm. Ecologists and the quarantine service take measures to prevent the further spread of this pest.

Gloomy cave butterfly

The Trans-Caspian gloomy bear is a very unusual butterfly. The name she owes and unprepossessing appearance, and lifestyle. This insect spends most of its life on the walls of caves and stalactites growing on them. At night, this butterfly gets out of the shelter and often flies up to the tourist camps, attracted by the light of bonfires. It is noteworthy that the caterpillars and pupae live far from the caves, preferring the steppes covered with wormwood and herbs.

This species is still poorly understood. Yes, and other representatives of the family of butterflies of bears keep many secrets.

Madam Bears

They have a black color. On the sides of the body are bright and yellow stripes. There are also small villi on the body. In case of danger, the caterpillar behaves like most representatives of this large family. She curls up and points her villi at the enemy.

Prefers to eat mountain ash, nettle, poplar, buttercups, blackberries, wild strawberries. Caterpillar winters in the roots of plants, trunks of old trees. Pupation occurs in spring. Cocoons are located on the surface of the soil.

Dipper butterflies

Dipper hebe

This species lives in the steppe zone and has a wide distribution area. Butterflies are found in central and southern Europe, Transcaucasia, Asia Minor, Mongolia, China and many other countries. On the territory of Russia, individuals can be found in Siberia, the Caucasus, Crimea, Central Asia and Kazakhstan.

Outwardly, it is a black caterpillar, on the body of which there is a large number of long dark gray villi. On the sides, these villi are more orange in color. They feed on dandelions, plantain, milkweed, millennials, thyme.

Thus, the caterpillars of the butterflies of the bear family are characterized by an unusual appearance, which helps them to disguise themselves in different territories. To protect the tracks there are poisonous villi. This allowed individuals to maintain their populations. For agriculture, the gluttony of caterpillars is a real danger and requires the use of additional measures to prevent the eating of crops.