Acrea Moth

Tiger Moth
Dear Bugman,
While visiting my son in Northern California, he pointed out a moth resting on the side of his steps. I believe it is a Tiger Moth. He was not threatened by our presence and with a little nudge he extended his wings exposing a beautiful rust colored body. He sported a full neck mane of thick pure white hair and striking black and white legs and antenna. Can you give me any further info on this species?
Granny in Petaluma

Hi Granny,
Your Tiger Moth is an Acrea Moth, Estigmene acrea. The larvae are typical wooly bears that feed on grasses. Male moths have yellow underwings and females have white underwings as indicated in your photograph. Males release pheromones that are attractive to both females and males, and large aggregations of this moth are known to occur as a result.

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