Visual ID Guide to Striped Caterpillars

Striped caterpillars are among the most beautiful caterpillars found in your yard, and their striking patterns and bright colors make them easy to spot too.

Unfortunately, some of them can be rather destructive and considered serious pests if left alone.

To help you figure out whether a caterpillar is friend or foe, here's a simple visual guide to 17 common types of striped caterpillars you might encounter in the garden.

Queen caterpillar


Whereas monarch caterpillars have two pairs of tentacles, queen caterpillars have three pairs: two longer tentacles toward the front, and a shorter pair near the rear.

Black swallowtail caterpillar


Black swallowtail caterpillars have stout green bodies with black and yellow stripes; the stripes can also have yellow dots on top.

Striped garden caterpillar


These caterpillars have tan faces and slender brown bodies with a pair of longitudinal yellow stripes edged in black.

Brown hooded owlet caterpillar


The brown hooded owlet caterpillar has a glossy black head and body; a wide orange stripe centered between black, white, and yellow pinstripes that run down the back; short yellow and white lines on the sides; and a horizontal red line along the bottom by its legs.

Zebra caterpillar


You can probably guess by its name that this caterpillar can be identified by its zebra-like black-and-white pattern along its body.

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