How It Works

What is the woolly bear moth?


There is a moth in the Canadian Arctic that, until recently, was thought to live for 14 years as a larva – the arctic woolly bear moth. (Its development was filmed for the BBC series Frozen Planet.) The summers there are so short it can’t eat enough food to develop fully so needs to find a safe place over winter, usually under a rock. Over winter the caterpillar actually freezes, so it is not strictly in hibernation. When it eventually becomes an adult moth it will live for just a few days, or even less, but it’s still a remarkable creature.

To learn more amazing facts, pick up a copy of Issue 73  of How It Works today from all good retailers, or order it online from the ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, make sure you subscribe today!

Plus, take a look at:

Why are moths attracted to light?

Why aren’t butterflies born as butterflies?

What is a sea butterfly?