What is an eight-spotted forester caterpillar?

eight spotted forester caterpillar

The eight spotted forester caterpillar grows up to approximately 3 cm and has a body with black, white and orange rings.

The eight-spotted forester caterpillar, Alypia cotomaculata, produces a striking, black adult moth, with yellow and black spots.  Found in Texas most commonly in spring, especially April.


These caterpillars feed on plants in the grape family including wild grape, Virginia creeper and Ampelopsis (pepper vine, raccoon grape, etc.).


Not generally considered a serious pest, these caterpillars produce an attractive, black-winged moth with large, yellow and white spots. Control is not usually necessary, as low numbers of these caterpillars do provide a food supply for insectivorous birds. Should control be desired, use of sprays containing Bacillus thuringiensis or spinosad are low-toxicity and have low impact on beneficial insects. Pyrethroid insecticides provide fast control of heavy infestations (rare). For more information about these and other pesticides see Understanding Common House & Garden Insecticides, ENT-4002.


Michael Merchant, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist

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