Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars

bob_71(z7 MD)August 3, 2011

I have only found two Monarch caterpillars on my Milkweeds so far. The last few days, I have been introduced to some Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars. One patch of Common (a. syriaca) exploded with upwards of 100 cats. There are several smaller batches on the second patch. These are almost exclusively communal feeders and they can consume lots of Milkweed!

In my readings, it is indicated that the caterpillars of the Monarch and the MTM are not usually found on the plants at the same time.

I have attached a couple of shots.


This small group is feeding (heads down in the photo).

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Hehehe! They look like my dogs' fringed tug toys!

Great pictures, Bob!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 12:06PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Wow, fantastic photos. I've often wondered what these little guys look like; now I have an excellent reference.

I agree, Sherry, they do look like the pull toys for dogs! :-) I've read these little cats can decimate wild milkweed. I often wonder if they are another reason the little wild 'Red Ring' milkweed is having such a time surviving in the wild.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 12:50PM
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