Leucoma salicis “Satin Moth” Lymantriidae (now Erebidae)

Clinton, MT
July 25, 2015
Robert Niese

 

Here’s another species from our National Moth Week event

with the Missoula Butterfly House. Satin Moths are native to the Palearctic, from the British Isles to Japan, but was introduced to the US in the 1920s. The moth was originally introduced to the Northeast, but specimens have been collected from the Pacific Northwest quite regularly in the past years, suggesting that a new population may have been introduced here recently. Their larvae eat the leaves of aspen, poplar, and willow until they’re fat enough to overwinter under the bark of their host trees. Adults are nearly pure white and hard to confuse with any other local moth species. And they’re so darn cute!

Orgyia antiqua “Rusty Tussock Moth” caterpillar Lymantriidae (now Erebidae)

Tacoma, WA
July 12, 2013
Robert Niese

This species is widely dispersed throughout both hardwood and coniferous forests in North America. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it tends to be restricted to moist, low elevation forests west of the Cascades. The caterpillars of this species are generalists and can eat both conifers and flowering plants.
Fun fact: female tussock moths are flightless and lay their eggs en masse on their cocoon. In order to disperse into the wide world beyond the cocoon they’re born on, freshly-hatched larvae will balloon away on the wind.

Happy National Moth Week!

Orgyia antiqua "Rusty Tussock Moth" caterpillar Lymantriidae (now Lymantriinae)

Tacoma, WA
July 12, 2013
Robert Niese

This species is widely dispersed throughout both hardwood and coniferous forests in North America. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it tends to be restricted to moist, low elevation forests west of the Cascades. The caterpillars of this species are generalists and can eat both conifers and flowering plants.
Fun fact: female tussock moths are flightless and lay their eggs en masse on their cocoon. In order to disperse into the wide world beyond the cocoon they’re born on, freshly-hatched larvae will balloon away on the wind.