Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Identify

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Question
Black hairy unknown
Black hairy unknown  
I found what I thought was a spider egg sac on my screened in porch on the stone wall tonight but after researching looks like spider egg sacs are mostly white. This is also very big, black, and hairy. When I zoomed in on the picture I took you can actually see the hair that has fallen from it. I dont want to touch it without knowing what it is. From a distance it looks like a catepillar. Can you help me identify this? Louisville, Ky United States

Answer
Lia,

I believe the fine, needle-like structures are "urticating hairs". These hairs are found on some caterpillars as well as some spiders (probably other animals as well), but I can't id further. You could try the folks at www.bugguide.net as someone there might recognize it. Until then don't handle it as these hairs can be very irritating. Sorry I can't be more specific.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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