One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large hairy caterpillar, especially that of a tiger moth.
- ‘Ants and insects including silverfish, woolly bears, earwigs and spiders can be tackled with products from hardware shops.’
- ‘Alfalfa butterflies, painted ladies, woolly bears and various other species have been abundant all summer.’
2The small hairy larva of a carpet beetle or museum beetle, which is destructive to carpets and zoological collections.
- ‘It's the wooly bear - the grub which, as it grows, casts its skin.’
- ‘This unassuming little creature, called a "wooly bear", is the larval form of one variety of carpet beetle.’
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