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Milkweed Tussock Moth larvae

Euchaetes egle

Description:

Several Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars on a common milkweed leaf.

Habitat:

Common milkweed, unplowed field, rural deciduous area, Clermont County

Notes:

Tussock Moths are a known problem for people growing milkweed to raise Monarch caterpillars. Whereas Monarchs will lay one egg at a time, giving each hatchling its own leaf (and often its own plant) to feast on, Tussock Moths lay several eggs at once, leading to hungry legions of hatchlings like the one pictured above. They can decimate milkweed plants, depriving the endangered Monarchs of food.

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3 Comments

KCClark
KCClark a year ago

Tussock moths are in the subfamily Lymantriinae. Tiger moths are in the subfamily Arctiinae. This moth, Euchaetes egle, is Arctiinae. Yes, milkweed tussock is a common name for the moth but it is an incorrect name.

Monarchs are not endangered. They are still one of the most common butterflies in Ohio.

Milkweed tigers are known to actually help monarchs. Butterflyweed AKA Asclepias tuberosa is usually ignored by monarchs because the leaves are "old" by the time monarchs arrive in Ohio but butterflyweed plants stripped by milkweed tigers grow new foliage that monarchs will lay eggs on.

Gaby3
Gaby3 2 years ago

@DianePlatcoBrooks, "Milkweed Tussock Moth" and "Milkweed Tiger Moth" are both common names for the same species, Euchaetes egle ( https://bugguide.net/node/view/433 ). I never intended to imply that the tussocks don't also have a right to the milkweed, only that they can be a nuisance for gardeners specifically trying to raise milkweed for monarchs. I agree that they grow into beautiful caterpillars.

DianePlatcoBrooks
DianePlatcoBrooks 2 years ago

It's a Tiger moth, not a tussock, and they are gregarious by nature in the earlier instars. They have a right to the milkweed too. They grow to be gorgeous little caterpillars.

Gaby3
Spotted by
Gaby3

Ohio, USA

Spotted on Jul 3, 2017
Submitted on Jan 28, 2018

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