Pale Tussock Moth and caterpillar Calliteara pudibunda. Tussock caterpillars can sting. The new family (Erebidae) that the tussock moth subfamily now belongs to joins together several additional moth groups. google_ad_slot = "1443096207"; Catocala spp., more than 100 species in North America north of Mexico, More than 2,500 species in North America north of Mexico, More than 12,000 species in North America north of Mexico, Eleven species in North America north of Mexico, White-Marked_Tussock_Moth_Face_9-10-08.jpg, White-Marked_Tussock_Moth_on_Leaf_9-9-08.jpg, White-Marked_Tussock_Moth_side_9-9-08.jpg, Isabella Tiger Moth (Woolly Bear; Woolly Worm), Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. The caterpillars tend to be brightly colored with distinctive groups of hair tufts, some short and some long, often with 2 long tufts in the front and 2 or 3 at the hind end. Some species damage shade trees, forest species, or landscaping plants, and others are notorious for chewing the leaves of orchard trees. They're popularly captured and raised by schoolchildren all over North America. A lot of people hate these caterpillars only because they feel they take food away from the Monarch butterfly. It is important to spray trees now, when the caterpillars are young. Caterpillar Food Plants A wide variety of broadleaved trees and shrubs including hawthorns, Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), cultivated Many butterflies and moths are associated with particular types of food plants, which their caterpillars must eat in order to survive. Woolly caterpillars are the larvae of tiger moths. The only other similar looking caterpillar is the Dark Tussock (Dicallomera fascelina). Caterpillars in the tussock moth subfamily tend to be brightly colored with distinctive groups of hair tufts, some short and some long, often with two long tufts in the front and two or three at the hind end. While the caterpillars of this tiger moth boldly wear the characteristic warning colors of orange and black as they feed during the day, the adult moth is a comparatively drab pale brown moth. This is a lovely species and is collected because of the handsome larvae. In some years the larvae are very numerous and become a problem when they leave their host plants to search for suitable sites to spin their cocoons. Only the three species that are found in Florida will be discussed here. The brightly coloured hairs protect them from birds, and other predators. Both milkweed and dogbane are in the Apocynaceae family. The front pair of legs are very hairy and face forwards when resting. Euchaetes egle, the Milkweed Tiger Moth, called the Milkweed Tussock Moth, eats both milkweed and dogbane. Lophocampa caryae Harris, 1841 Order: Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) Family: Erebidae (tussock moths, tiger moths, and kin) Summary. //-->. These cool-looking caterpillars produce a quite plain and inconspicuous moth. About 30 species of this subfamily are found in North America. The gregarious early instars skeletonize whole leaves, feeding only on the tissues between the veins, thereby avoiding the copious latex sap. Hickory tussock moth caterpillars are fuzzy, white and black caterpillars that are often very apparent in … Pesticides used by modern agriculture can poison and kill milkweed plants, so you can help Monarchs by planting milkweeds yourself. They feed on oaks, dogwoods, and blueberries. This tussock moth is in genus Dasychira. Adults are usually quite hairy and generally have subdued colors in shades of brown, gray, or white. Larvae usually eat trees, shrubs, and other woody plants, but some species eat herbaceous plants. Like all butterflies and moths, tiger moths undergo a complete metamorphosis, with four life cycle stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult. Then, like a cold virus in a classroom of kindergarteners, it rapidly spreads through the population, knocking the moths back to lower levels for another few years. google_ad_client = "ca-pub-5271727875612165"; The larva is very distinctive; similar to that of the Dark Tussock (Dicallomera fascelina), but is generally greenish or yellow, with four conspicuous tufts of yellow hairs. The elongated clumps are sometimes called "pencils." Orgyia leucostigma: The White-Marked Tussock Moth. The caterpillars are found between July and October Habitat: Woods, parks and gardens Food: The adult moths don't feed, but the caterpillars eat oak, birch, lime and hop leaves Special features: Pale Tussocks are pale grey coloured moths with bands of darker grey on the hind wings. Adult tussock moths are frequently seen around electric lights at night. The Lymantriinae (formerly called the Lymantriidae) are a subfamily of moths of the family Erebidae.The taxon was erected by George Hampson in 1893.. The antennae are comblike (bipectinate). Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars feed together in large groups in the early instars. The White-marked Tussock Moth caterpillar is covered with them and the chemicals that are transferred onto skin when they are touched can cause an allergic reaction in humans resulting in redness, irritation, and welts. This article shows you how to get started. A large number of these hairy caterpillars can also damage the health of a … Before you can carry on with a treatment program, you need to be certain you are dealing with Tussock Moths. These are collectively called urticating hairs from the Latin urtica meaning "nettle." The milkweed tussock moth caterpillar comes along between July and August and they tend to eat the older plants left behind by the picky monarchs. Like many related species, adult moths have chemical defenses acquired from its host plants, in this case, alkaloids. Several of these are in the tiger and lichen moth subfamily. While the caterpillars of this tiger moth boldly wear the characteristic warning colors of orange and black as they feed during the day, the adult moth is a comparatively drab pale brown moth. Females are white to gray and do not have fully-developed wings. The gypsy moth, introduced to our continent from Europe, has caused millions of dollars in damages to forests. Help protect our forests by learning how to recognize the gypsy moth reporting any occurrences you find. Another distinct group, the tiger and lichen moths, are in the same situation as the tussock moths: they also used to be in their own family, but have now been reduced to a subfamily (Arctiinae) in the new family Erebidae. Life begins in June when mommy milkweed tussock moth lays her pale gray eggs on the bottoms of milkweed leaves by the dozens. The male moth is ash gray and the forewing is marked with darker wavy bands, with a wing span of about 1 1/4 inches. Tussock moths are named for the hairy caterpillars, which typically have distinct clumps of longer hairs. They feed as a crowd at this growth stage. Scientific name. /* 300x250box */ Tussock moths fee… Females frequently are larger than males, flightless, and may have the wings reduced or absent. The scales, whether muted or colorful, seem dusty if they rub off on your fingers. Many of its component species are referred to as "tussock moths" of one sort or another. Months seen:  May and June. The caterpillars of Pale Tussock moths were commonly known as 'hop dogs' by hop pickers who frequently found them among the crops. Treatment Options for Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth, from the Colorado State Forest Service. Most of our native species are in two genera: Dasychira and Orgyia. The larvae are initially difficult to detect. Special features:  Pale Tussocks are pale grey coloured moths with bands of darker grey on the hind wings. Orange and black warns predators not to mess with milkweed tussock moth caterpillars. Caterpillars are about 2 millimeters long when they hatch. Wear gloves in case the tussock moth is not what it seems--the hairs on Douglas fir tussock moth caterpillars, for example, can irritate human skin. There are four tufts of yellowish hair on the dorsal area and a tuft of red-brown hair at the tail end. The caterpillars feed on a range of tree leaves including elm, birch, hazel, lime and oak. Tiger moths produce caterpillars that are densely covered in hairs and are commonly called woolly bear caterpillars. Some species, like the milkweed tussock moth, require specific host plants (in this example, milkweed). Although their flowers and seed pods are not similar, their leaves are almost identical.) Gypsy moth caterpillar – This invasive insect has been spreading from the Northeast since 1900 and reached epidemic proportions in 1980 and 1981. They're less likely to be found in hop fields these days due to the use of pesticides. When crawling, the Tussock Moth Caterpillar is able to stand vertically, which helps it to move from leaf to leaf to feed. Several species in this subfamily are destructive agricultural pests. The Pale Tussock moth is a common species throughout much of the southern half of England, becoming scarcer in northern regions. White-marked tussock moth caterpillars can be pests on orchard trees, but you have to give them credit for looking really nifty. @import url(; Identify It >   Moths Section >   Pale Tussock Moths >,