All instars feed side-by-side in groups and a single colony can rapidly consume entire leaves leaving only the veins. A Milkweed Tussock Moth in Washington Co., Maryland (7/3/2020). Learn more. This week, Bug of the Week was inundated with questions about another caterpillar munching on milkweed: the milkweed tussock moth, also known as the milkweed tiger moth. It is poisonous to predators and according the above source obtains the toxins from the milkweed. It's bright colors warn off predators. and sometimes dogbane (Apocynum spp.) Milkweed is a perennial that is poisonous to some grazing livestock and a source of allergens to some humans. This moth frequently uses milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) Today I had to go out and collect a few fresh milkweed leaves for my Monarch caterpillars I am raising. Subfamily: Arctiinae. Milkweed Tussock Moth Larvae. Larvae often feed on older milkweed shoots, and seldom share shoots with monarchs (Danaus plexippus), which prefer younger ones (Wagner, 2005). Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar. Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars are covered in stiff black, orange, and white hairs that stand out against the dark green of the milkweed. They can tolerate the cardiac glycosides within the milkweed plant that are toxic to most other insects as well as certain mammals and birds. It is a common mid- through late-summer feeder on milkweeds and dogbane. Only very high cardiac glycoside concentrations deterred bats, however (Hristov and Conner 2005). Not monarchs, as I hoped for, but a milkweed tussock moth caterpillar. Later instars sport tufts of black, white and orange (sometimes yellow) setae (hairs). The Milkweed plant sap that the moth feeds on contains a toxic chemical called cardenolide and it accumulates in the body of whatever eats it. Older larvae sever the veins that supply the latex, which reduces latex flow to the area they feed on (Dussourd and Denno, 1991). Weller, S. J., Jacobsen, N. L. & Conner, W. E. (1999). We depend on donations to keep Butterflies and Moths of North America freely available. They will also eat Hemp Dogbane. The milkweed tussock moth caterpillar looks like a scary caterpillar but I could not find where it may be poisonous to humans-nonetheless I did not touch it. If you have enough of the milkweed plant for all to feed on, it is okay to leave them be. A Milkweed Tussock Moth in Baltimore Co., Maryland (6/23/2018). Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars are responsible for eating all portions of milkweed leaves but the largest veins that contain sticky latex. Identification: Body and wings mouse gray, with collar, forecoxae, and abdomen yellow; rows of black spots on abdomen. Euchaetes egle, the milkweed tussock caterpillar or milkweed tiger moth, is a moth in the family Erebidae. For instance, plants in the milkweed family, Asclepiadaceae, (don't let the name intimidate you), secrete a milky sap (except for Butterfly Milkweed) and opposite or sometimes whorled leaves. Dussourd, D. E. & Denno, R. F. (1991). Mature caterpillars occur from June onwards (Wagner 2005). Wings usually unmarked, but some individuals have very faint, darker postmedial line and reniform spot on forewing. August 31, 2003. Related posts: Friend, foe – or merely lunch? You can donate to support this project at any time. Common milkweed plants catch the spotlight as being the home and restaurant of monarch butterfly larvae, but that’s only part of the story. A few other milkweed specialists have developed ways to “eat around” the sap to avoid its toxic effects. 1 . The species was first described by Dru Drury in 1773. The best-known member of this family is the beautiful but highly detrimental Gypsy Moth which is not native to North America. "Acoustic cues in defense and courtship of. Dogbanes and milkweeds produce a sticky latex that can impede larval feeding. As its name suggests, the areas near the body of the Yellow-based Tussock Moth are a shade of yellow. as larval host plants. Another caterpillar that specializes on milkweeds is the milkweed tussock caterpillar or milkweed tiger moth, Euchaetes egle, in the family Erebidae, subfamily Arctiinae (formerly family Acrtiidae). Body and wings mouse gray, with collar, forecoxae, and abdomen yellow; rows of black spots on abdomen. Milkweed Tussock moth eggs are usually laid generously on older Milkweeds while Monarchs generally lay only one or two eggs per plant and prefer younger, more tender leaves. Milkweed Tussock Moth or Milkweed Tiger Moth Euchaetes egle (Drury, 1773) Family: Erebidae. "Milkweed Tussock Moth or Milkweed Tiger Moth,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
2020 milkweed tussock moth friend or foe