April 10, 2017 3:52 am
We just moved out here and curious who these guys are.
Based on this BugGuide image, we are confident that your spotted moth is a Fall Webworm Moth, Hyphantria cunea. According to BugGuide: ” wings either all white (in northern and some southern individuals) or sparsely to heavily marked with dark grayish-brown to black spots (in many southern individuals); spots rectangular or wedge-shaped, arranged loosely in rows in basal half of wing, and in either a V-shape or more-or-less random arrangement in distal half; ventral side of prothorax and femur of foreleg with orange hairs; hindwing either all white or with one or two black spots” BugGuide also notes: “Larvae feed on foliage throughout their development, and secrete silk which they spin into small webs. As they grow, they enlarge the webs, which can sometimes enclose the entire tree. Even severe infestations have little impact on trees because the damage occurs near the end of the annual growing season. Except in the case of ornamental trees, control is seldom necessary because the damage is generally of aesthetic rather than economic importance.” You should expect to see the webs formed by the caterpillars in late summer.