Banded Tussock Moth caterpillars

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Harry and I recently visited Natural Bridge State Resort Park. It’s a bit early for autumn color, and getting late for many insects. I wasn’t sure what we’d see, and I was glad to find several different caterpillars.

This is a curled up Banded Tussock Moth caterpillar (Halysidota tessellaris). I’m guessing the arrangement of the stiff spines discourages predators, and I’m intrigued by the design. At first glance, it’s hard to tell it’s a caterpillar.

Curled Banded Tussock Moth caterpillar

The adult Banded Tussock Moth looks quite a different than the caterpillar. Here’s one I photographed a couple of summers ago.

Banded Tussock moth

We saw several of these caterpillars. Some were light-colored and others were a golden yellow. All had distinctive long black and white lashes at each end.

Banded Tussock Moth caterpillar

I’m often amazed by the designs I find in nature, and I think these caterpillars qualify as miniature works of art.

14 thoughts on “Banded Tussock Moth caterpillars”

  1. Betty, they are indeed miniature works of art! And indeed quite magnificent!
    The white caterpillar looks almost like the seed head of a thistle or dandelion,
    whilst the yellow one reminds me of a little nail brush!! The moth itself appears
    to be very dainty, with delicate wings, AMAZING! I really like these photos, well done Betty.

    1. Pauline, I like your descriptions of how the caterpillars looked to you. The yellow one also reminded me somewhat of a little choo-choo train.

  2. Mrs. Hall, you amaze me with your knowledge and fantastic photos! Thank you for continually educating me and showing me God’s wonderful creation!

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