Hickory Tussock Moth Hatched Mid January…
Location: Albany, NY
January 19, 2011 9:29 pm
Hello. When it got cold here, we pulled back our daughter’s curtains only to see a cocoon attached. We did not move it and it became a part of our nightly ritual ”Good Night Cocoon,” etc. (My daughter is 3). My husband & I thought it had not survived and out of nowhere, middle January, it hatched tonight. Presently it’s in a tupperware with holes & some indoor plant clippings. It’s in the 20s outside and so, I can’t release it. What should I do? I have read that it doesn’t eat as an adult, is that true? Thank you for your help.
Signature: Take care, Kim
Thanks so much for writing us your sweet email with this image of an adult Hickory Tussock Moth, Lophocampa caryae. The big problem with a cocoon or chrysalis in a heated home is that often the adult will emerge indoors in winter when it cannot find a mate. This happens frequently with captive caterpillars, but in your case, this unfortunate Hickory Tussock Moth wandered into your comfortable, temperate home on its own. You are correct that many adult moths, especially Giant Silkmoths and Tiger Moths (your Hickory Tussock Moth is in the Tiger Moth family Arctiidae) do not feed as adults. You can see BugGuide for more information on the Hickory Tussock Moth.