Currently viewing the category: "Tussock Moth Caterpillars"

Subject: Insect ID, please.
Location: Cleveland, TN
August 31, 2016 5:34 am
Found this little fuzzy “thing” on the backside of a leaf on my River Birch tree. Never have seen anything like this before so would like to know exactly what it is. Can you help?
Signature: Rick McCormick

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Rick,
You can see by comparing your caterpillar to the one in this BugGuide image that this is a Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma.  According to BugGuide:  “CAUTION: Contact with hairs may cause an allergic reaction.”

Subject: What Type of Caterpillar Is This??
Location: Columbus, Ohio
August 20, 2016 6:57 am
Dear Mr. Bugman,
I’ve seen tons of caterpillars around my house recently but I’ve never seen any like this one. What type of caterpillar is this??
Signature: Samantha

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Samantha,
Do you have milkweed plants growing near your house?  We believe this is a Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Euchaetes egle, and it feeds on milkweed.  Though it seems lighter in color to individuals on our site, it does match this BugGuide image pretty closely.

That looks exactly like it, thank you!!

Subject: Got bit
Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
June 29, 2016 10:41 am
Hi,
I got stung… bit? by this caterpillar. I tried looking online and I think it is a gypsy moth caterpillar but I have no idea if that’s correct or not. I am really hoping its not going to be anything serious. It was in Belleville, Ontario end of June. So far I am only seeing a red bump where it bit or stung me and a little rash around the area, but its only been 20 minutes. Hope you can help identify.
Signature: Melissa

Gypsy Moth Caterpillar

Gypsy Moth Caterpillar

Dear Melissa,
Based on this BugGuide image, we concur that you have correctly identified a Gypsy Moth Caterpillar,
Lymantria disparBugGuide does not mention stinging or urticating hairs, but according to the Penn State University Entomology Department:  “Some people are dermally allergic to the caterpillars. The urticating hairs cause skin rashes on some humans. This is most noticeable in May when larvae are small. Children appear to be more prone to this problem than adults.”

Subject: Caterpillars
Location: On a Chiku (Sapodilla) tree in Singapore.
June 16, 2016 11:04 pm
Dear Bugman,
I found this caterpillar chomping on my Sapodilla leaves this morning. It’s about 6 cm in length. Would you be able to identify it?
Signature: Dillan

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Dillan,
This is a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the Tribe Orgyiini. 

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: San Mateo, CA
May 7, 2016 6:49 pm
Found this in San Mateo, Ca. Is this caterpillar poisonous? What does it eat?
Signature: Vera

Western Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Western Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Vera,
This appears to be the caterpillar of a Western Tussock Moth,
Orgyia vetusta, which is pictured on BugGuide.  BugGuide makes no mention of irritation caused by the hairs, but other members of the genus including the White Marked Tussock Moth are known for having urticating hairs.  Of that species, BugGuide notes:  “CAUTION: Contact with hairs may cause an allergic reaction.”  According to the Moth Photographers Group:  “Dozens if not hundreds of these caterpillars have been busy eating leaves on a Coast Live Oak.”

Subject: Unkown Creepy Callapiter
Location: Florida near pensacola, cantonment. But in a country part called Molino
April 20, 2016 5:32 pm
I was sitting with my mother in our barn in cantonment. when I noticed (What i thought was fuz,) until it started moving. I have never seen anything like it, (Nor had my mom,) and i wanted to know more. It had to large thick, black antenaes. And one identical anteanae like tail. Conecting the anteanaes/tail was a black line down the middle, with little yellow hair covering the sides. It had an orange like headband, and two small red dots near its hind end. What was peculiar was the 4 white dots on its back, with a spiky black line coming out of each. Please help. We have many animals around our farm and would really like to know this type of bug, and if it is dangerous. Thankyou.
Signature: Please respond, Aden

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Aden,
This is a Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma, and according to BugGuide:  “CAUTION: Avoid handling the caterpillar, as its hair is known to cause allergic reactions, especially in areas of the body with sensitive skin (e.g. back, stomach, inner arms). Seek medical treatment if a severe reaction occurs.”