Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Subject: Unusual Bug
Location: Columbia, SC
October 10, 2016 6:22 am
Students found this bug at school and we would like to identify it.
Signature: L Adair

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear L Adair,
This is most likely a Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma, but we would not rule out that it is a different species in a genus that has many similar looking caterpillars.  You should warn any young children to avoid handling Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillars because, according to BugGuide:  “CAUTION: Avoid handling the caterpillar, as its hair is known to cause allergic reactions, especially in areas of the body with sensitive skin (e.g. back, stomach, inner arms). Seek medical treatment if a severe reaction occurs.”

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