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.
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.
Thanks Ron. You are most generous.