Isabella Tiger Moth (Woolly Bear; Woolly Worm)
Adults usually rest with the wings held rooflike over their bodies, or else held flat out to the sides. The forewings are yellow or tan, pointed and often have faint lines and small dark spots. Hindwings are lighter and are orange in females. The bases of the forelegs are reddish-orange.
The larvae of this species are better known than the adults. Called “woolly bears” or “woolly worms,” they are fuzzy with dense, stiff hairs. They are usually black on the ends of the body and rusty red or brownish in the middle. When disturbed, they commonly roll up in a ball. Note that touching the bristles can cause dermatitis in some people.
There are about 60 species of tiger moths in Missouri.