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What Kind? - Dasychira tephra

What Kind? - Dasychira tephra
Umatilla, Lake County, Florida, USA
February 28, 2012
Size: 2 inches

Images of this individual: tag all
What Kind? - Dasychira tephra What Kind? - Dasychira tephra What Kind? - Dasychira tephra

Moved from ID Request.

Excellent, now that we can see the entire caterpillar
we can see this is one of the Tussock Moths in the genus Dasychira, and in the group that has a long hair pencil tuft dorsally on A8. If it was feeding on pine, it would be D. manto. If on bald cypress, then D. dominickaria. But we're guessing with those pointed black thickened hairs in the lateral tufts that this is the oak feeder, D. tephra. Any chance that you know what trees were nearby?

You can read about all of these in Wagner's Eastern Caterpillar book, pages 446 and 447

The little things really do count!
Wow, I am only now beginning to realize just how much tiny details can be the difference separating one species from another. I've been seeing Tussock Caterpillars in my area all my life, often in different colors! For some reason I just assumed that they were all just diferrent shades of the same species...LOL. Don't know why it didn't occur to me that they were different. Makes perfect sense being that I have Oak, Pine and Bald Cypress trees in my yard. I hope I learn to be as observent as the experts on here one day!
Thanks for your informative contributions John and Jane Balaban.
Be Well and God Bless

P.S. Just out of curiosity, could it be the high amounts of tannin in Oak leaves that causes the Oak feeding caterpillars to be so dark?

We don't know about color,
but please do take some detailed images of the Tussock caterpillars you see this year. It would be great to see the different ones you have.

I have a few pics of one from 2011 that I can upload, I'll be sure to take some more pictures of them this year. I used to avoid them because of the urticating hairs, but the fact is that you don't need to to touch something to take a picture of it ! :)
Be Well and God Bless

Your right about the
Your right about the stands right next to my RV where I found him!

Looks to be something in Orgyia
Wish we could see all of it at once. Difficult to ID from parts, but someone may get this for you.

Oak tussock moth?
Looks like Halysidota tessellaris to me.

I agree with DocFrootFly. Be
I agree with DocFrootFly.
Be Well and God Bless

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