This is the weirdest looking cat I've ever seen. It's on a cyclamen. Looks like it may have eaten part of a leaf. It has just gone through a molt because the old skin is nearby. Anyone know what it is?
It's a white marked tussock moth. It'll make a plain brown moth, but the cats are so interesting!
Thank you, Sherry! It IS very cool looking, but it freaks me out a little. The two front extensions and the tail extension remind me of a scorpion of which I am terrified. I love hand raising species I've never raised before, but I think I'll pass on this one ;)
I just found these tiny cats on my Purple Milkweed. I'm thinking they my be White Marked Tussock because I see long hairs on the head and tail like the later instar cat pictured above. What do you think?
Regardless of what they are, I have a dilemma. I can't let them destroy the milkweed. What should I do with them?
Wow. So sorry to hear this caterpillar problem. :-(
Dana, I think they're most likely milkweed tussock moth caterpillars. This species lays masses of eggs in clusters, so the big numbers of your cats fits the ID.
Check out the link. What do you think?
Here is a link that might be useful: Milkweed Tussock Moth Early Instar Caterpillars
Thank you for the link, Sherry. Yes, I think you are correct.
Two beautiful photos.