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It was found in the state of Virginia, on the east coast of the United States.

Mystery caterpillar on a leaf.

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I think it might be a species of Fritillary. Below is a picture of a Marsh Fritillary.

Marsh fritillary Marsh fritillary. Source: Butterfly Conservation.org

I do not think it is a woolly bear or giant leopard moth, just because the hairs seems too sparse for a woolly bear and it lacks the distinct red striping of the giant leopard moth caterpillar. It does not seem to be arctiinae to me.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you add a picture of you suggested species? Regardless, +1 $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jun 1 '15 at 0:01
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    $\begingroup$ butterfly-conservation.org/files/… Maybe a marsh fritillary. $\endgroup$ – Dan Jun 1 '15 at 0:17
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It's Woolly Bear Caterpillar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrharctia_isabella

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    $\begingroup$ Can you explain why you think so? This looks quite different then the larvae that show up in a standard Google search. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater May 31 '15 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ Its spikes are short so the closest match I can think of was Woolly Bear. But it can be Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar. $\endgroup$ – Aishwarya Shiva May 31 '15 at 22:12

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