Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Rusty Tussock Moth? - Orgyia detrita

Rusty Tussock Moth? - Orgyia detrita
Tavares, Lake County, Florida, USA
April 10, 2006
Another from the boardwalk.
Rusty Tussock?

We're thinking
Orgyia detrita - Whitemarked Tussock Moth, described with O. leucostigma in Wagner page 450. See

Is this caterpillar poisonous ?

Not sure
One reference cited in Chris Wirth's article on this site (see article) claims that three spp. of tussock moth have stinging hairs, but doesn't say which ones (except that Orgyia leucostigma is one of them). Regardless, people with sensitive skin might find contact with any hairy caterpillar somewhat irritating so the best advice is not to handle them.

whitemarked tussock moth
Yes, that does look more like it.
I think we have an exact match!

Fir Tussock Moth or Live Oak Tussock Moth
are the common names most often used, I believe - White-marked Tussock Moth refers to O. leucostigma (a literal translation of the species name).

I read your bio, Sharon. Be on guard. Shooting flower blooms is how I got hooked on insect photography.

I think I am on my way... Even without looking it seems - those crazy lookin critters are everywhere!