Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Subject: S. Texas Caterpillar
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
December 19, 2013 6:47 am
For the past two months, I have been finding the caterpillars wandering my property on the ground, on plants, on buildings and nestled in the crevices of my trash cans. They are intriguing with their long groups of white hairs protruding out.
Is this a dangerous caterpillar, or nothing to worry about?
Signature: Tim Weitzel

Possibly Florida Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Possibly Florida Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Hi Tim,
This is a Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Halysidota, however we don’t believe it is either the Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Halysidota tessellaris, or the Sycamore Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Halysidota harrisii, both of which are represented in our archives.  In our opinion, it most closely resembles the Florida Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Halysidota cinctipes, which you can view on BugGuide.  Carelessly handling this caterpillar might result in contact dermatitis, however this is not a species that is generally listed among caterpillars with stinging spines or utricating hairs.

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