Currently viewing the category: "Tussock Moths"

For the love of Caterpillars
Dear Bugman:
Hope you had a great trip with the students. I know you all are super busy so since I last wrote you, I did some serious web searching and managed to identify my two ‘pillars that I sent in earlier this month (Hickory Tussock moth caterpillar and Yellow bear caterpillar–I think).

Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Since your site is so great and I use it so much, I thought I would give back a bit. Attached are all the photos I have taken of caterpillars near our home in Churchville, Virginia.

Buck Moth Caterpillar Io Moth Caterpillar

Hope you like them! (Higher resolution photos available if you want). Sincerely,
Lacey Parker

Monarch Caterpillar Banded Woollybear Caterpillar

Wow Lacey,
We really hit the jackpot with your awesome Caterpillar photos.

What’s this caterpillar?
We live in Oregon and found this caterpillar in our backyard. We were wondering if you could tell us what kind it is. Thanks so much,
Emerson Vordermark

Hi Emerson,
This is a Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Lophocampa maculata. According to BugGuide: “Larvae prefer leaves of poplar and willow, but also feed on alder, basswood, birch, maple, oak.”

Just happened on to your site a couple months ago, and have been raving abt. it to anyone that will listen!!! Great job and service you do. Now, for my bug, er, caterpillar…I found him eating my butterfly weed the other day, and I’m thinking he must be a pest. I brought one of the larvae in when I first found it and it immmediately spun a cocoon…now I’m wondering if I should get rid of it….can you tell me what this is going to be? Thanks, in advance, for your great service!
Pat, St. Louis

Hi Pat,
This is a Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar or Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillar, Euchaetes egle. If the caterpillars are plentiful, they may defoliate the host plant. The adult moth has unmarked grey wings and yellow spots on the body.

Egg Laying??
Hi Bugman…this one really has me stumped. Found it in my backyard this morning. Hopefully you can help me out on this one. Thanks
Tom Rook
Brantford, Ont. Canada

Hi Tom,
This is an exciting photo for us since we get so many requests to identify White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillars, Orgyia leucostigma. The female Tussock Moth is flightless and lays a foamy mass of eggs. This image agrees with one posted on BugGuide.

White-Marked Tussock Moth?
Hello there. I found this fuzzy little critter hanging from a tree (I think it was an oak, I didn’t pay much attention). I did a little searching around on the internet. I’m pretty certain it’s a Tussock Moth caterpillar. Possibly the White-Marked variety. Perhaps you could confirm for me? Thanks,
Nathan Hillier

Hi Nathan,
This sure looks like a White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar to us, but several other species of Tussock Moth look very similar.

White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar
LA & D,
So, having decided that your site is just an extraordinary amount of fun, we’ve pulled out our digital bug photos from over the course of this century. We were planning to inundate you with requests, but then we discovered that we can almost always ID what we were going to send, based on someone else’s submission over that same stretch of time. At first, we’re disappointed: “Damn it!” we say (or think), “someone’s already submitted this one!” Then there’s a followup realization — we learn a lot from scanning through the site, looking for matches. We learn what we’ve got — a six spotted green tiger beetle here, a Calligrapha multipunctata there… and we also learn to recognize incredible beasties we haven’t yet come across in the flesh, like Homesteader grasshoppers, Wheel bugs and the barely believeable Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar. So thanks for all your effort, and here’s another rerun for you; a White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar, shot in September of 2000 in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Jim & Sandy

Hi again Jim and Sandy,
Your photo is quite beautiful. Just a suggestion before you innundate us with images: try to send them in at approximately the same time of year that they were shot so that being posted on the homepage will assist other readers more than unseasonal postings. Your White Marked Tussock Moth image is quite nice.