American Dagger Moth Caterpillar - (Acronicta americana)
The long yellow hairs of the American Dagger Moth Caterpillar look soft enough to pet, but contact with them causes immediate itching and burning.
The American Dagger Moth Caterpillar can be detailed through the following descriptors for identification:
yellow hair; pale yellow; white; hairy; fuzzy; soft; black; black head; four black lashes; long black hairs sticking up; black bristles; stinging; painful; burning; rash.
This caterpillar has been found in the following North American states and territories:
Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico.
Note that the states/territories listed are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the American Dagger Moth Caterpillar as insects typically go where they please, driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.