Rusty Tussock Moth Caterpillar from Alaska

Subject: Name that caterpillar from Alaska please
Location: Eagle river Alaska
August 11, 2014 3:39 pm
What is this ? We saw it on our strawberry plants !
Signature: Melissa

Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Rusty Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Melissa,
This looks like a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Orgyia.  We believe it is the Rusty Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Orgyia antiqua, which according to BugGuide has been sighted in Alaska.  BugGuide also notes “Caterpillars are generalist feeders on the foliage of flowering trees in the Rosaceae, Fagaceae, Ericaceae, and Salicaceae” and strawberry is in the family Rosaceae.  Finally, BugGuide indicates:  “Native to Europe but now found throughout North America, Europe, and parts of Africa and Asia” which makes it an invasive, exotic species.

1 thought on “Rusty Tussock Moth Caterpillar from Alaska”

  1. Thank you for helping us identify this caterpillar! We ended up with a cocoon and then a fat, slow female. The idea of a flightless moth is fascinating for my kids.


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