Saturday, August 25, 2018

Late Summer Moth and Caterpillars

All moths and caterpillars in this post were found at Whitewater State Park.

Every night it sounded like there was a slow, gentle rain falling on our tent.  But there was no rain, there were barely any clouds in the sky.  I think the sound was that of frass (caterpillar droppings) falling from many unseen caterpillars in the Hackberry tree by our tent.

White-marked Tussock Moth - Orgyia leucostigma
Tussock Moth family, Lymantriidae.  Feeds on a wide variety of woody plants.

Pale Beauty - Campaea perlata
 Looper, Inchworm and Spanner family, Geometridae.

Grapevine Skeletonizer - Harrisina americana
Leaf Skeletonizer family, Zygaenidae.  Feeds on Grape vines and Virginia Creeper.

Banded Tussock Moth - Halysidota tessellaris
Tiger, Lichen and Wasp moth family, Arctiidae.  Feeds on a variety of woody plants.  The individual pictured above is missing most of its hairs, which are technically called setae.  We found one other Banded Tussock Moth caterpillar that was in a similar state.   The missing hairs might be caused by birds trying to eat them.

"Caterpillars of Eastern North America" by David L. Wagner