Currently viewing the category: "Tussock Moth Caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Interesting Ohio find

Location: Central Ohio USA
September 14, 2014 12:22 pm
Just the obvious questions of “What the blank is this?” and “Can it hurt me?” come to mind when looking at this. It caused my sister’s adrenaline to pump and just about everyone else’s skin to crawl, but I suspect it’s a harmless (to humans) caterpillar. Unless you eat it maybe?
Signature: Jack

White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Jack,
This is the caterpillar of a White Marked Tussock Moth,
Orgyia leucostigma, and according to BugGuide:  “CAUTION: Avoid handling the caterpillar, as its hair is known to cause allergic reactions, especially in areas of the body with sensitive skin (e.g. back, stomach, inner arms). Seek medical treatment if a severe reaction occurs.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: strange black white yellow caterpillars are invading my yard
Location: south eastern Arizona
August 31, 2014 10:11 pm
This is the second year my yard has literally been taken over by hundreds of caterpillars so many that when you step out side onto my porch it sounds like it’s raining due to the unbelievable amount of caterpillars.normally I wouldn’t worry but within the last two years I’ve been trying to find our exactly what kind of caterpillar thus is and if they are harmful in any way please help!
Signature: concerned/curious

Davis' Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Davis’ Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear concerned/curious,
This is a Davis’ Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota davisii, which we matched to an image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the range is:  “Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and northwestern Texas,” but there is no information regarding periodic outbreaks of large populations, though that is an occurence that is frequent with other species of Tussock Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this caterpillar?
Location: Croton on Hudson NY 10520
August 23, 2014 10:24 am
Dear Bugman,
I found Whiskers (that’s his name) at the playground in Croton-on-Hudson, NY on August 23 2014 at 1:00pm (approximately). If you look past his fuzz it looks like he has lots of little black spots on his body, but otherwise he’s pale yellowish white with a brownish red head and a lot of tufts – the ones in the front are brownish red like his face and they are yellowish white towards the end of him.
I love him!
What’s this big? –Tristan Age 7
Signature: Tristan, Age 7

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Hi Triatan,
Your caterpillar is a Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota harrisii, and you can read more about it on BugGuide.

 

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Subject: Name that caterpillar from Alaska please
Location: Eagle river Alaska
August 11, 2014 3:39 pm
What is this ? We saw it on our strawberry plants !
Signature: Melissa

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Rusty Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Melissa,
This looks like a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Orgyia.  We believe it is the Rusty Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Orgyia antiqua, which according to BugGuide has been sighted in Alaska.  BugGuide also notes “Caterpillars are generalist feeders on the foliage of flowering trees in the Rosaceae, Fagaceae, Ericaceae, and Salicaceae” and strawberry is in the family Rosaceae.  Finally, BugGuide indicates:  “Native to Europe but now found throughout North America, Europe, and parts of Africa and Asia” which makes it an invasive, exotic species.

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Subject: Is this an American Daggar Moth Caterpillar?
Location: Cleveland, OH
August 8, 2014 5:28 pm
I have seen so many of these caterpillars this year in my backyard! I think this is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar, but why does it have these weird things on its back? All of these caterpillars are surrounding my pool and sometimes fall in.
Signature: MissX

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Parasitoid Pupae

Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Parasitoid Pupae

Dear MissX,
In our opinion, this is a Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota harrisii, and it is host to the pupae of a parasitoid wasp, most likely a Braconid.  Parasitoid Wasps are often very host specific, preying upon a single species or genus.  Parasitoids feed on the internal organs of the host species, eventually killing the host.  See this matching image on BugGuide and this matching image on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What type of caterpillar?
Location: Central Connecticut
July 18, 2014 5:00 pm
Wondering what type of caterpillar these are? Found on milkweed about 75 or so in a group. I’ve seen and photographed monarchs, but these little guys have hair. I didn’t see any eggs and don’t believe monarchs come out in large batches. I know there are limited caterpillars who eat milkweed. Photo taken July 18th in central Connecticut.
Signature: Thanks, Steve

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar Hatchlings

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar Hatchlings

Hi Steve,
You are correct that not many caterpillars feed on milkweed, and we had a hunch as to the identity of your caterpillars, but we wanted to find documentation to support our inkling.  Though it is a generalization, butterflies usually lay eggs singly while moths often lay eggs in large clusters.  We could telll that these were moth caterpillars, and we suspected them to be Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars,
Euchaetes egle, though we do not have any images of hatchlings in our own archive.  We found an image on BugGuide that matches your hatchling Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars.

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination