Find local MDC conservation agents, consultants, education specialists, and regional offices. The resulting caterpillars feed gregariously in clusters of ten or more throughout their first three instars (stages of development). Many of its component species are referred to as "tussock moths" of one sort or another. Scientific name:  Dasychira pudibunda The caterpillars of Pale Tussock moths were commonly known as 'hop dogs' by hop pickers who frequently found them among the crops. Caterpillar Food Plants A wide variety of broadleaved trees and shrubs including hawthorns, Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), cultivated Although their flowers and seed pods are not similar, their leaves are almost identical.) Habitat:  Woods, parks and gardens The one other enemy of tussock moths is a disease: a nuclear polyhedrosis virus, to be exact. Most of our native species are in two genera: Dasychira and Orgyia. Pale Tussock Moth and caterpillar Calliteara pudibunda. Wingspan: ½–2¾ inches (varies with species). Several of these are in the tiger and lichen moth subfamily. The larvae are initially difficult to detect. //-->. Pesticides used by modern agriculture can poison and kill milkweed plants, so you can help Monarchs by planting milkweeds yourself. One insect that has been plentiful this year is the tussock moth caterpillar. Male Pale Tussock moth on bark of tree – photo Steve Ogden. Woolly caterpillars are the larvae of tiger moths. Life begins in June when mommy milkweed tussock moth lays her pale gray eggs on the bottoms of milkweed leaves by the dozens. Since that time, massive outbreaks have been rare. The gregarious early instars skeletonize whole leaves, feeding only on the tissues between the veins, thereby avoiding the copious latex sap. Both milkweed and dogbane are in the Apocynaceae family. Tussock caterpillars can sting. Adult tussock moths are frequently seen around electric lights at night. The caterpillars are found between July and October 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. These cool-looking caterpillars produce a quite plain and inconspicuous moth. White-Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Side View. The hairs also probably help insulate the caterpillars from extreme temperatures and help protect them from drying out. Similar species: The caterpillars in several moth groups are called “tussock moths” because they, too, may be hairy with clumps of longer hairs. 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. Eggs are often laid in a cluster on top of the cocoon and are covered with the female’s irritating hairs. They climb to the tops of Doug-firs and eat tender new needles. Lophocampa caryae Harris, 1841 Order: Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) Family: Erebidae (tussock moths, tiger moths, and kin) Summary. 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. Special features:  Pale Tussocks are pale grey coloured moths with bands of darker grey on the hind wings. Adults do not eat, but the larvae of many species are serious pests. With the females flightless, the males must seek them out, and pheromones (scent signals unique to each species) help the sexes to find one another. The Pale Tussock moth is a common species throughout much of the southern half of England, becoming scarcer in northern regions. Pale Tussock Moth (Calliteara pudibunda) – adult. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson, Erebidae (tiger, lichen, tussock, and underwing moths). Orgyia leucostigma: The White-Marked Tussock Moth. Several species in this subfamily are destructive agricultural pests. Females frequently are larger than males, flightless, and may have the wings reduced or absent. It feeds on a range of deciduous shrubs and trees, and used to be a pest of hop (Humulus lupulus), when it was commonly grown. I rear Pale Tussock Moths occasionally only in low numbers releasing them back into the wild or keeping a fertile moth for only one night so I do not have too many eggs which are laid in batches around a twig. The noctuid family continues, but minus those groups. google_ad_height = 250; 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. Browntail Moth. The scales, whether muted or colorful, seem dusty if they rub off on your fingers. We hope we adequately answered your question are caterpillars poisonous to dogs in this post. The gypsy moth, introduced to our continent from Europe, has caused millions of dollars in damages to forests. The bright colors warn predators of the unpalatable nature of the caterpillars. 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. This article shows you how to get started. Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars feed together in large groups in the early instars. Caterpillars are about 2 millimeters long when they hatch. Like many related species, adult moths have chemical defenses acquired from its host plants, in this case, alkaloids. Months seen:  May and June. The only other similar looking caterpillar is the Dark Tussock (Dicallomera fascelina). When crawling, the Tussock Moth Caterpillar is able to stand vertically, which helps it to move from leaf to leaf to feed. As with the hairs on the caterpillars, the hair tufts on the end of the adult female’s abdomen may be skin-irritating if touched. google_ad_slot = "1443096207"; The elongated clumps are sometimes called "pencils." Many butterflies and moths are associated with particular types of food plants, which their caterpillars must eat in order to survive. They feed as a crowd at this growth stage. It might be the sharp-lined tussock moth, D. dorsipennata. Browntail moths (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) were introduced into North America from … About 30 species in subfamily Lymantriinae (formerly a family) in North America. Hickory tussock moth. The caterpillar is very common especially in late summer in eastern North America, extending as far west as Texas, California, and Alberta. If the larva are disturbed they will usually drop to the ground, so look but don't touch. There are four tufts of yellowish hair on the dorsal area and a tuft of red-brown hair at the tail end. If they ingest Bt-k, they die. The Spotted Tussock Moth larva is a woolly bear caterpillar, but it also has black mounds and long white lashes more typically seen in Tussock moths. Yellow Caterpillar Identification. White-marked tussock moth caterpillars can be pests on orchard trees, but you have to give them credit for looking really nifty. DFTM Treatment Guide. The front pair of legs are very hairy and face forwards when resting. Tiger moths produce caterpillars that are densely covered in hairs and are commonly called woolly bear caterpillars. Tussock moths are named for the hairy caterpillars, which typically have distinct clumps of longer hairs. Size:  Wingspan approximately 60mm 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 bright colors warn predators of the unpalatable nature of the caterpillars. 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. They're less likely to be found in hop fields these days due to the use of pesticides. Tussock Moth caterpillars – their hair can cause a reaction Wooly Bear caterpillars – their hair can stick to your puppy’s throat and cause a lot of irritation, gagging, etc. Euchaetes egle, the Milkweed Tiger Moth, called the Milkweed Tussock Moth, eats both milkweed and dogbane. White-Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar on Leaf. The caterpillars feed on a range of tree leaves including elm, birch, hazel, lime and oak. This is a lovely species and is collected because of the handsome larvae. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. Help protect our forests by learning how to recognize the gypsy moth reporting any occurrences you find. Spring arrived early this year and so did many of our insect problems. The caterpillars incorporate those hairs into the cocoon for protection. As their name suggests, these Sycamore Tussock caterpillars feed on the leaves of Sycamore trees. Only the three species that are found in Florida will be discussed here. Tussock moths in the genus Orgyiaare small moths that are best-known because of their attractive larvae. These living jewels have tiny, overlapping scales that cover their wings like shingles. The hairy green and yellow caterpillars have a black band around each body segment. Kiddies are off-white and look slightly bristly or spikey with black, shiny head capsules. Some examples of species in this subfamily include the white-marked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma), whose larvae damage orchard trees, and the exotic, invasive gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar). Adults lack functional mouthparts and do not eat. The caterpillars are associated with their various food plants, so if you are looking for a particular species, find out what its larval hosts are, and seek them out. The stinging hairs of tussock moth caterpillars are a defense against the caterpillars’ many predators. Like all butterflies and moths, tiger moths undergo a complete metamorphosis, with four life cycle stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult. Orgyia leucostigma, the white-marked tussock moth, is a moth in the family Erebidae.The species was first described by James Edward Smith in 1797. These are collectively called urticating hairs from the Latin urtica meaning "nettle." People introduced the invasive, destructive gypsy moth to North America in a failed attempt to jumpstart a silk-producing industry on our continent. The kiddies hatch out and begin eating the tissue off the bottom of the leaves. However, there are some with hairs that are modified for defense. The males have feathery antennae which can detect the scent of a female from several hundred metres away. Treatment Options for Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth, from the Colorado State Forest Service. google_ad_client = "ca-pub-5271727875612165"; 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. They get their name due to the fluffy tufts or "tussocks" of hair that grow out on the insect. The vast majority of lepidopteron (moths and butterflies) caterpillars, even many with hairs, do not present a threat. (Dogbane is often mistaken for milkweed by people who raise Monarch caterpillars. A dark coloured form of the moth is sometimes found around industrial areas. Tussock moths fee… Tussock moths are named for the hairy caterpillars, which typically have distinct clumps of longer hairs. The antennae are comblike (bipectinate). What Do Caterpillars Eat? This tussock moth is in genus Dasychira. 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 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. Some species, like the milkweed tussock moth, require specific host plants (in this example, milkweed). Females are white to gray and do not have fully-developed wings. It is important to spray trees now, when the caterpillars are young. They eat almost anything, including some decorative trees like hawthorn that cities tend to plant along roads and in plazas. Larvae usually eat trees, shrubs, and other woody plants, but some species eat herbaceous plants. It, too, is always present but doesn’t kick in until the moth population gets large. The seeds are FREE. /* 300x250box */ This Tiger caterpillar does not. Distribution:  Found in England and Wales The pale tussock moth, Halysidota tessellaris (J. E. Smith) lacks the upright tufts of short, light hairs on the first four abdominal segments. About 30 species of this subfamily are found in North America. Adults are usually quite hairy and generally have subdued colors in shades of brown, gray, or white. Butterflies, skippers, and moths belong to an insect order called the Lepidoptera — the "scale-winged" insects. @import url(; Identify It >   Moths Section >   Pale Tussock Moths >,