Subject: Orange/black moth
Location: Baton rouge, La
December 12, 2013 12:23 pm
Crazy looking moth on my window sill in Louisiana.
Your moth is a Buck Moth in the genus Hemileuca, and they typically fly during the autumn where then are encountered in wooded areas by deer hunters. We found an article Louisiana State University Agricultural Center because of the large numbers of Buck Moths last December in Baton Rouge. We found the article to be a bit alarmist, though it is true that large numbers of moths will mean more Buck Moth Caterpillars in the spring. It is also true that Buck Moth Caterpillars should not be handled because of the spines which could sting folks who handle the caterpillars carelessly. We believe your Buck Moth is Hemileuca maia, and it has recently emerged from the pupa, so its wings haven’t yet properly expanded.
Thanks for the speedy reply. I’ve lived in Louisiana forever and have never noticed one before, but I am certainly familiar with the stinging caterpillar.