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HELP! What is this caterpillar?

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HELP! What is this caterpillar?

Post  countrynaturals on 4/18/2016, 7:45 pm

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Rusty Tussock Moth

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/18/2016, 9:01 pm

It's definitely the caterpillar of some sort of tussock moth.  The closest thing in my guide book is the Rusty Tussock Moth Orgyia antiqua -- but my book is for Eastern North America, and I see you are in CA. The bugguide site has one report of this species in CA, so it's possible.

The hairs on tussock moth caterpillars can cause a mild rash, or a more severe allergic reaction, in susceptible people: Don't pet it or pick it up with bare hands. My book indicates they feed on a variety of tree leaves, including fruit trees. If the caterpillar wasn't in a tree, it probably either fell out accidentally, or it may be on its wanderlust - journeying from its food plant to find a place to pupate and turn into a moth.
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Re: HELP! What is this caterpillar?

Post  countrynaturals on 4/18/2016, 9:34 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:It's definitely the caterpillar of some sort of tussock moth.  The closest thing in my guide book is the Rusty Tussock Moth Orgyia antiqua -- but my book is for Eastern North America, and I see you are in CA. The bugguide site has one report of this species in CA, so it's possible.

The hairs on tussock moth caterpillars can cause a mild rash, or a more severe allergic reaction, in susceptible people: Don't pet it or pick it up with bare hands. My book indicates they feed on a variety of tree leaves, including fruit trees. If the caterpillar wasn't in a tree, it probably either fell out accidentally, or it may be on its wanderlust - journeying from its food plant to find a place to pupate and turn into a moth.
Thanks, Beetles. My folks out here said tussock, too. What an unusual little guy. I didn't touch it. Yesterday we had two tent caterpillars in the construction zone. We are working right under an oak tree, so I guess that explains it.
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Re: HELP! What is this caterpillar?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/18/2016, 10:13 pm

I love you I love to play "what is this?" Fill in the blank! Tussock. Mindin his own biz.
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Re: HELP! What is this caterpillar?

Post  countrynaturals on 4/18/2016, 10:28 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I love you I love to play "what is this?" Fill in the blank!  Tussock.  Mindin his own biz.
Well, he was showin' off a little. Razz
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