Currently viewing the category: "Tussock Moth Caterpillars"
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Subject: Caterpillar on PC
Location: Atlanta, GA
July 10, 2014 1:01 pm
Thought you might enjoy this one. I was looking up a caterpillar on your site on while it crawled across my monitor.
Signature: Chris Davis

Tussock Caterpillar

Tussock Caterpillar

Dear Chris,
We are incredibly amused with your image of this Tussock Caterpillar crawling across our homepage.  We believe your individual is in the genus
Halysidota, and it might be a Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Halysidota tessellaris, based on its resemblance to this individual on BugGuide.

Tussock Caterpillar

Tussock Caterpillar

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar identification
Location: Athens, GA
July 3, 2014 6:12 pm
Caterpillars are difficult for me to identify, even with a key. This one was found in a wooded subdivision in Northeast, GA.. (Athens area) A river with creek tributaries is close by. They seem to be more numerous this year. My friends are asking me, but I am clueless. I have answered them, “moth”.
Signature: Another Ed in Athens

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Ed,
One of the best clues for identifying caterpillars is knowing the plant upon which it was feeding.  We believe this is a Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar or Pale Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota tessellaris, and you can compare your image to those posted on BugGuide

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hi! Found a beautiful caterpillar
Location: Collingswood NJ
July 2, 2014 2:16 pm
Hi bugman. What a neat website! Please, can you tell me what this beautiful caterpillar will turn into?
Signature: Jessica in Philadelphia

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Duh. I found him in your guide. I found this website using my phone so I didn’t see the guide till now. It looks like a white-marked tussock moth. Thanks. Jess.

Hi Jessica,
We are happy you used our website to self identify your Tussock Moth Caterpillar.  We will attempt to search BugGuide to  confirm the identity of this Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Orygia which contains several similar looking species.  Based on this image on BugGuide, we are inclined to agree that you have correctly identified the White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: SE Texas unidentified bug
Location: 50 miles SW of Houston, TX
May 1, 2014 5:51 am
The bug in the attached picture showed up by the thousands (or more!) in the country southwest of Houston, TX. They existed for about two or three weeks and have about vanished by 05/01.
Signature: Ron

Fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Hi Ron,
We have identified your Tussock Moth Caterpillar as
Orgyia detrita, and according to BugGuide, it has two common names:  Fir Tussock Moth or Live Oak Tussock Moth.  Curiously, BugGuide does not list any food plants for the caterpillar, but the common names indicate it prefers Fir or Live Oak.  BugGuide also notes that the caterpillar can be distinguished from other Tussock Moth Caterpillars in the same genus because of “The sides of the body are gray and supraspiracular warts are orange” and “Unique to this species are the orange-colored spots along the back and sides.”

Daniel, thanks for the VERY rapid response!  I have quite a few large Live Oak trees on my couple of country acres.  One almost covers my house, no wonder I have all these critters showing up.
I decided you deserve a donation that I just sent.   Keep up the good work. You will probably hear from me again.
Ron

Thanks Ron.  You are most generous.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Burning Caterpillar
Location: Tlaxcala, Mexico
February 12, 2014 9:57 am
We recently moved to Central Mexico (state of Tlaxcala) and my SIL who is a Mexican national brought in this caterpillar and advised me to tell my children that they were not to play with it as it causing a burning sensation when the hairs on the back are touched. Living in the US, we always played with caterpillars so this spiked my curiousity.
Signature: Krystal L (ArmyMustang)

Possibly Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Possibly Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Hi Krystal,
Many caterpillars have utricating hairs that come off when they are handled and these hairs may cause irritation in sensitive individuals.  Tussock Moth Caterpillars fall into that group and this appears to be a Tussock Moth Caterpillar.  BugGuide provides this information on the White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar:  “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.”  Though it is not your species, your individual might be closely related.  Perhaps your SIL is being overly cautious as there are other caterpillars in Mexico that can cause severe reactions like this Mexican Flannel Moth Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth caterpillar from Peru
Location: Lima, Perú
February 3, 2014 11:50 pm
Greetings!
I found this brown-gray colored caterpillar in my house the other day, and I decided to take some pictures of it because it looked pretty cool. I was almost sure that this was a moth caterpillar (and I’m terribly scared of moths) and I am pretty interested in finding out what specie it is (and how will it look like when it comes back to haunt me)! It is mid-summer here in Lima, Peru and it is the first time I run into this kind of caterpillar.
Signature: Rodrigo Alcorta

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Rodrigo,
This appears to be a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the subfamily Lymantriinae.  In our opinion, your fear of moths has no basis in actuality.  Moths do not bite, nor do they sting.  Caterpillars on the other hand often have defense mechanisms, and many possess utricating hairs or stinging spines.  Tussock Moth Caterpillars sometimes have utricating hairs that will cause skin irritation if they are carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination