Tussock Moth

The Tussock Moths come in a variety of colors which is reflected in the caterpillars. Some are all white. Some prefer certain plants, such as a Douglas Fir.

Today’s topic is the Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar (aka Milkweed Tiger Moth) Euchaetes egle.


The life cycle is pretty usual for a moths. Eggs are laid, caterpillars feed and grow, overwinter in a cocoon and emerge the following year as a moth to start the cycle again. What I found interesting is that first, they feed on Milkweed plants. So do Monarchs. The milkweed adds a chemical defense to both the caterpillar and the moth which deters predators from eating it.

Second, is their appetite. In a day, about 15 of the caterpillars turned a three foot tall milkweed plant into a skeleton!


~ by Gary & Therese on August 21, 2016.

One Response to “Tussock Moth”

  1. Great photos.
    Moths are often a bit drab but they often put on a good show in their caterpillar phase.

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