Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth

Subject: I love this website.
Location: Ashland, Oregon
February 17, 2014 7:53 am
Hello again, Daniel! I hope this letter finds you well. 🙂 I was just going through some old photos from last summer in Oregon and wanted to share them with you (a wooly moth, ants on a peony flower, and a yellow jacket in my cabin. ) I think I have the last two photos identified correctly, but just wanted to include them because I like the photos. The first one, however, I’m not really sure about. I love this little guy though, in my mind he looks like a sweet little sheep or maybe a strange new Star Wars character.
Signature: Rachel

Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth
Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth

Hi again Rachel,
We believe we have correctly identified your yellow moth as a Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth,
Malacosoma disstria, and it took far less time than we anticipated.  The first matching photo we found was on the Wanderin Weeta blog, but alas, the moth is not identified.  We then turned to BugGuide and guessed correctly with the Lappet Moth and Tent Caterpillar family Lasiocampidae.  We were searching for an image shot at the same angle as yours, and this female Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth on BugGuide looks like a good match, except for the antennae, but male moths have more developed antennae so they can locate the female through her pheromones.  This image of a male Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth on BugGuide has antennae like your individual.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on leaves of alder, basswood, birch, cherry, oak, poplar, willow.”  


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