Subject: Larvae on Milkweed leaves
Location: Haldimand County
August 12, 2015 12:05 pm
These little guys.., about a third of an inch long, had eaten several Eastern Milkweed leaves into skeletal tubes.. they seem to live in a colony on the underside of the leaves and are covered in their own webbing.. I want to know if they are predacious on the Monarch Larvae.. The Monarchs are truly struggling here in Haldimand County, Ontario, Canada..
Signature: Bill from Heaven Farm

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar Hatchlings

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar Hatchlings

Dear Bill,
We believe these are early instar Milkweed Tussock Caterpillars, and you can compare your image with this image from BugGuide.   Milkweed Tussock Caterpillars feed on milkweed, as you observed, and we do not believe they pose any threat to Monarch Caterpillars.

Location: Halimand County, Ontario, Canada

2 Responses to Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar Hatchlings

  1. Dogbanes and milkweeds produce a sticky latex that can impede larval feeding. Early instars avoid the veins by skeletonizing the leaves.

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