Subject: Unknown Bug
Location: SW Texas
November 4, 2012 3:36 pm
My wife found this in our yard… Does anybody know what it is? We live in SW Texas therefore, we know it must bite, sting, prick, or love dust… Thanks, Jim
Signature: Jim & Jean
Dear Jim & Jean,
This is a newly emerged Buck Moth, Hemileuca maia, whose wings have still not expanded and hardened. It will not be able to fly until its wings expand and harden. Buck Moths do not bite, sting nor prick, and we are not certain what you mean by love dust. Though the adult moths are harmless, the Caterpillars of the Buck Moth are capable of stinging. We suspect you must have an oak tree in your yard since the leaves of oak are the larval food and you would not have a newly emerged adult Buck Moth far from an oak tree.
thank you, my husband was making a joke about west texas (a lot of dust here, very little rain) jean
Thanks for the clarification. We suppose they might be responsible for love dust as the sight of mating Buck Moths is rather romantic.