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.