At first glace, you might think that these fuzzy white things are pieces of fluff that fell off of a cotton plant. Then, you might say, hmm… that can’t be right… wait a sec, that looks like a caterpillar!
You’d be getting on the right track, but still, not exactly. These are actually Butternut Woolyworms (Eriocampa juglandis) which are the larvae of a species of sawfly.
Unfortunately, they don’t stay so sweet and cuddly looking. They will eventually crawl down into the soil and form a pupa where they will silently wait until they transform into their adult fly versions. The white strings are waxy filaments that deter predators from making a quick meal out of the larvae.
I think they do look friendly as babies, though. 🙂
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I have a confession: I love animals. Join me and the rest of the Featured Creature community as we learn about the weirdest, coolest, and craziest animals out there. Including your dog, Mr. Scrufflebutt (if you submit him!).