White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar: Caution

I do not know what this is
Location: DeKalb Illinois
October 30, 2011 10:51 pm
I was sitting at a table outside on my schools campus when I looked down at my arm and this thing was climbing up my arm. I have no idea what it is and cannot find any sort of description of it.
Signature: Desmond Wafers

White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Hi Desmond,
This caterpillar is a White Marked Tussock Moth or Rusty Vapor Moth,
Orgyia leucostigma.  The caterpillars from this genus are quite distinctive and they should be handled with care.  According to BugGuide:  “CAUTION:  Contact with hairs may cause an allergic reaction.”

8 thoughts on “White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar: Caution”

  1. I have these annoying caterpillars in my yard and I am in Houston, TX, how can I get rid of them? I am a caterpillarb lover, but I have small kids and don’t want them to get hurt by them. They are constantly falling out of our huge oak tree next to our portch and crawling all over everything. We can’t even eat out side because they are everywhere.

  2. When I was younger I saw one of these and I let it crawl on my arm. Nothing happened!
    Same thing with my sis. I guess we’re lucky.

    • Many caterpillars are raised in captivity and we suspect a White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar will survive fine with the proper care.


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