Currently viewing the category: "Tussock Moths"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Who’s nest is that
Geographic location of the bug:  UK, Houghton Regis
Date: 11/11/2017
Time: 02:00 PM EDT
Found this nest in my garden and wonder who’s it can be
How you want your letter signed:  Delfina

Vapourer Eggs

Dear Delfina,
These are the eggs of The Vapourer,
Orgyia antiqua, a species we found on Nature Spot where it states:  “The female lays her eggs on what remains of the pupal cocoon, which then overwinter. When hatched, the very hairy caterpillars feed on a range of deciduous trees and shrubs.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Freaky egg laying, giant fuzzy flea?! 🙂
Geographic location of the bug:  Union County, Ohio
Date: 10/01/2017
Time: 04:29 PM EDT
This critter is doing its thing on my chicken coop door. It looks like a big, fuzzy flea or tick. It’s about 1/2-3/4 inch long. It’s laying a gob of eggs on a sort of cocoon. I poked the cocoon and it moved, and the critter moved too. WEIRD! What is it!?
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in Ohio

White-Marked Tussock Moth lays Eggs

Dear Curious in Ohio,
There are many flightless female moths, and we quickly identified your White-Marked Tussock Moth laying eggs thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Flightless females lay a froth-covered mass of up to 300 eggs after mating.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth or Not Moth?
Location: Holly Springs, MS.
October 1, 2016 4:45 am
Hi!
As I was a “bug queen” for a day a few years ago on WTB, I thought I would ask about something I’ve never seen before.
The enclosed pics are of the siding in my house. There appears to be a “nest” to the left of a white moth. However, I did NOT see any wings on this “moth.” The nest had soft dried grass to the left, but the white part to the right was hard like plastic.
Would appreciate some bug love with an answer as to what my new critter friend is.
Thanks for all the wonderful info you give to your fans!
Signature: Stephanie Berry

Whitemarked Tussock Moth with Eggs

Whitemarked Tussock Moth with Eggs

Dear Stephanie,
There are several groups of moths in which the female is flightless, and we believe your moth is a Whitemarked Tussock Moth,
Orgyia leucostigma, or a closely related member of the genus.  Tussock Moths are also known as Vaporer Moths.  Here is an image from BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Flightless females lay a froth-covered mass of up to 300 eggs after mating.”

Whitemarked Tussock Moth with Eggs

Whitemarked Tussock Moth with Eggs

Thank you so much for the info!!  I never knew there were flightless  moths!
You do an amazing job for your readers!!!
Much love,
Steph aka Ellie Mae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug Identification
Location: Medowie, Australia NSW
February 17, 2015 1:28 pm
I was hoping to have this bug identified. It is in a tree in our yard in Medowie NSW. No-one seems to know what it is. There is a circular spider web right next to the bug & cocoon of eggs.
Signature: Toni Alley

Tussock Moth with Eggs

Tussock Moth with Eggs

Dear Toni,
This is a flightless female Tussock Moth with her eggs, probably
Orgyia australis.

Thank you for letting me know 🙂
Toni Alley

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: hairy Slater bug?
Location: Albany, western Australia
December 25, 2013 9:41 pm
I’ve got a bug about the size of a pinky finger nail on top of its eggs sitting beneath the hand rail of the verandah. It’s eggs are hairy as is the body of the animal. Very strange, its body shape looks like a cross between a Slater and a giant flea and the front half of a moth with its legs at the front near its nose.
Signature: here

Flightless Female Tussock Moth with Eggs

Flightless Female Tussock Moth with Eggs

We were struck by the resemblance between your photo and an image in our archive of a flightless female Western Tussock Moth with her egg mass, and we quickly learned that the genus Orgyia is represented in Australia as well.  Birds on the Brain pictures a flightless female Tussock Moth in the genus Orgyia, but she is not identified to the species level.  Butterfly House indicates that Orgyia australis is found in Australia, but does not even indicate that the female is flightless.  The Brisbane Insect website indicates the common name is the Painted Pine Moth and pictures a flightless female.  The Government of South Australia has an excellent pdf on the life cycle of Australian Tussock Moths.  Your photograph pictures a flightless female that has laid her eggs in and on the cocoon she emerged from.  Since she is flightless, she cannot move about in search of a mate, but since she releases a pheromone upon emergence, a winged male can locate her to mate.  The pdf states:  “On hatching, the female remains clinging to the outside of the cocoon where she mates and lays eggs. The eggs are laid in a mass amongst the hairs on the outside of the pupal cocoon. Each female may lay up to 700 eggs. The eggs hatch into tiny caterpillars which swarm over nearby twigs and needles.”

That’s fantastic and interesting! Thanks a lot, I’m so glad you got back to me! Hope you have a wonderful new year!
Linton

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Satin Moth (Leucoma salicis)
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
October 8, 2013 6:56 am
Hi, y’all!
I sent this in originally during your long break, and think it may have gotten lost the pile you received during that time. Anyway, I found this moth in Yellowstone National Park in late July or early August. A number of moths of the same species were hanging out, motionless, perhaps after a night of debauchery, on the stone facade of the Mammoth Hot Springs ranger station. Some Googling has led me to believe that it’s a Satin Moth (Leucoma salicis). Information is sparse on these. Evidently their young nibble on aspens and the like (of which there are plenty in the area). According to Bugguide (http://bugguide.net/node/view/27833) they’re Europe-native and considered an invasive pest in the US. Anyway, I didn’t see any specimens in your archives, so I thought you might want to add it to your collection. 🙂
Signature: Helen

Satin Moth

Satin Moth

Hi Helen,
Thank you for taking the time to resend the underrepresented Satin Moth to us.  You are correct about the huge quantity of mail we couldn’t answer in August.  That was one of our busiest identification request times, but a family emergency necessitated leaving the office.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination