Currently viewing the category: "Tussock Moth Caterpillars"

Subject:  Insect attached to caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Macon, Ga
Date: 06/19/2019
Time: 07:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Was curious what this insect is?
How you want your letter signed:  Evan S. Thomas

Giant Strong Nosed Stink Bug nymph eats Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Evan,
Though most Stink Bugs feed on plants, those in the subfamily Asopinae, the Predatory Stink Bugs, prey on other insects and arthropods.  We quickly identified this Strong Nosed Stink Bug nymph,
Alcaeorrhynchus grandis, thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  The prey is a Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Browns valley, Ca. Near marysville
Date: 05/11/2019
Time: 06:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Last year we found unbelievable amounts of cacoons on surface of everything. Now we have these critters everywhere. What are they, what do they evolve into? Anything poisonous?
How you want your letter signed:  Bret

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Bret,
This is a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Orgyia, but we are not certain of the species as there are several very similar looking species that are found in California.  The adults are sometimes called Vaporers.  BugGuide has images of the adult Vaporers as well as the egg masses.  We have gotten several identification requests in the past few days, so we are posting your submission.  According to Featured Creatures:  “The medical importance of Orgyia species caterpillars is well-documented in the scientific (Diaz 2005, Gilmer 1925, Goldman et al. 1960, Knight 1922) and clinical dermatology (Hossler 2009 & 2010 ) literature. Pruritic (itching) dermatitis due to tussock moth caterpillars has been reported to be a problem at child day-care centers and elementary schools in Florida (Atrubin et al. 2012, Atrubin & Granger 2006, Cruse et al. 2007). Contact with the cocoons produces the same symptoms.
The caterpillars may be contacted when they drop from the host trees or when they wander from the trees in search of a place to spin their cocoons. Home owners develop dermatitis from contact with the cocoons while removing them from the soffits of houses. Hairs in the cocoons retain their urticating capability for up to a year or longer.
Most of the urticating hairs are in the dorsal tussocks of the caterpillars (Knight 1922), but a few are also found on the lateral verrucae and intermingled with the black plume hairs of the hair pencils (Gilmer 1925). Gilmer (1925) conducted histological studies of the urticating setae of Orgyia leucostigma and found that each seta has a venom gland at its base. The venom has not been adequately characterized.”

Subject:  Caterpillar ID required
Geographic location of the bug:  Malaysia
Date: 03/23/2019
Time: 09:33 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  A solitary caterpillar found on a post in Malaysia. I think it’s some sort of tussock moth but an ID would be appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Pat

Tussock Caterpillar

Dear Pat,
We agree that this is probably a Tussock Moth Caterpillar from the subfamily Lymantriinae, but we are unable to provide you with a species identification at this time.

Subject:  I found an alien
Geographic location of the bug:  Bradenton, Fl
Date: 01/15/2019
Time: 04:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! I found this fella by my porch steps. He moves fairly quick and had a couple peek-a-boo sections in his body (shown).
How you want your letter signed:  Curious Bradentuckian

Lappet Moth Caterpiller

Dear Curious Bradentuckian,
This is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar, possibly from the genus
Tolype which is pictured on BugGuide, or possibly the caterpillar of a Dot Lined White also pictured on BugGuideBugGuide states:  “Larva: excellent twig mimic – body mottled gray and whitish with black markings and fringe of sublateral hairs; displays pair of dark bars between thoracic segments when crawling or disturbed.”  This is a native species, not an alien.

Subject:  Crazy catarpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  New England, USA
Date: 09/08/2018
Time: 12:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this!?
How you want your letter signed:  curious gal

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear curious gal,
This is a White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Milkweed
Date: 08/09/2018
Time: 07:46 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Thi dc is not a monarch caterpillar
How you want your letter signed:  Sue

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Sue,
Knowing the plant upon which an insect is found it is often extremely helpful for identification purposes, but not all insects are found on plants, so we don’t have a field for that purpose.  Milkweed is not a “Geographic location” and knowing if something was sighted in Pennsylvania or California or South Africa is also quite helpful, and every bug is found somewhere on the planet, which is why we have a Geographic location field on our submission form.  Having the Geographic location is also of assistance for persons scouring the internet for identification purposes, so we hope you will write back and provide an actual Geographic location so we don’t have to leave that field blank in our posting.  This is a Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar, one of the many species, like the Monarch caterpillar, that depends upon milkweed for survival.  We don’t understand what “Thi dc” means since we could not locate it in the dictionary.