Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Species Lophocampa maculata - Spotted Tussock Moth - Hodges#8214

Spotted Tussock Moth Adult - Lophocampa maculata Caterpillar - Lophocampa maculata caterpillar on willow -- Is it moth or butterfly ? And, what kind is it? - Lophocampa maculata long haired caterpillar - Lophocampa maculata 9033910 moth - Lophocampa maculata Id help needed - Is this a Hickory tussock moth ? - Lophocampa maculata Caterpillar - Lophocampa maculata Yellow hairy caterpillar - Lophocampa maculata
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Phaegopterina
Genus Lophocampa
Species maculata (Spotted Tussock Moth - Hodges#8214)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Yellow-Spotted Tiger Moth
Mottled Tiger
halysidote maculée (French)
Halisidote du maculée - En français… Ilze V-G.
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Lophocampa maculata Harris, 1841
*Phylogentic sequence #930373
Explanation of Names
"Tussock moth" for the tufts of hair on the caterpillar. (tussock = a tuft or clump of green grass or similar verdure, forming a small hillock--Wiktionary.)
eleven Lophocampa species occur in America north of Mexico. (1)
Wingspan 35-45 mm
Adult: forewing yellow with four brown bands, usually merged; partial fifth band extends inward from costa; partial band darkest where reniform spot normally occurs; hindwing pale yellow, translucent, unmarked
[adapted from description by Charles Covell]

Larva: black at both ends with 4 or 5 yellow or orange abdominal segments; numerous thin white lashes arise from black segments; yellow abdominal band broken by black or sometimes red middorsal tufts
[adapted from description at Caterpillars of Eastern Forests]
across southern Canada, western US, south in Appalachians to South Carolina, Kentucky
Forests with hostplants (deciduous trees), Canadian and Transition life zones
adults fly from May to July
larvae from July to September
Larvae prefer leaves of poplar and willow, but also feed on alder, basswood, birch, maple, oak
Life Cycle
one generation per year
Overwinter as pupa in a hairy cocoon(2)

Click on an image to view the life cycle:

Some variation in the larva:

Rocky Mountain:

West coast:


earlier instar:
See Also
Hickory Tussock Moth (Lophocampa caryae) forewing has separate spots that don't merge into a blotchy band, and its terminal line of spots doesn't merge with the outer margin
Banded Tussock Moth (Halysidota tessellaris) forewing has bands that are not merged, and are composed of irregular rectangular blocks; thorax has pastel turquoise stripes
Larva of Isabella Tiger Moth lacks thin white lashes arising from black segments
not to be confused with the Tussock Moths, family Lymantriidae
Print References
Covell, p. 73, plate 12 #9 (3)
Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands, #14, p. 34 (4)
Wagner, Caterpillars of Eastern Forests, p. 27 (5)
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America, pl. 48.20; p. 273. (6)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - photos of larve, live and pinned adults.
Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands pinned adult image by Jeff Miller, plus description, flight season, foodplants, similar species (USGS)
Lynn Scott, Ontario live adult images and dates
Canadian Biodiversity pinned adult image
North Dakota State University pinned adult and live larva image, plus technical description, distribution, foodplants
pinned adult image plus common name reference [Mottled Tiger] and other info (Strickland Entomological Museum, U. of Alberta)
live larva image by Charlene Houle, plus description, foodplants, seasonality, life cycle (Caterpillars of Eastern Forests, USGS)
distribution in Canada list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .
2.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.
3.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
4.Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands
Jeffrey Miller, Paul Hammond. 2000. USDA Forest Service, FHTET-98-18.
5.Caterpillars of Eastern Forests
David L. Wagner, Valerie Giles, Richard C. Reardon, Michael L. McManus. 1998. U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.
6.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.