Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Caterpillar Care
Name:  Katherine
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

I raise monarch caterpillars in the summer. Today I found a "woolly bear"(Isabella Tiger Moth) in the parking lot all curled up. I took him home to find out what he does in the winter. He has warmed up quite a bit and expended energy crawling on my shirt. After giving him something to hibernate under/in, should I take him onto my porch, leave him by a cool window, or leave him on my kitchen table or what? Also, should I give him something to eat after warming him all up and getting him moving again. I live in Michigan and it has been unseasonably warm here.I would like to do right by this fuzzy thing, but fear I may have goofed him all up? I would however like to watch him spin his cacoon this spring. Please give me some guidance if you would. Thank you for your time. The fuzzy thing thanks you too.

Nuts! I once kept a wooly bear until it turned into a moth, but I don't remember what I fed it, how I kept it, or any of that stuff. It'll probably be all right if you put it in a box with some insulating material (grass, leaves, etc) and keep it in a protected place, like a garage. Or you can just let it go in your back yard, see where it tries to go, and try to give it an environment like that.

Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.

Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory