Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Orgyia detrita Guérin-Meneville, 1832
Orgyia inornata Beutenmueller 1890
Orgyia kendalli Riotte 1972
Caterpillar: "The sides of the body are gray and supraspiracular warts are orange; the black middorsal stripe is flanked by yellow spots on A4-A7" - Wagner, p.450 (1)
"Unique to this species are the orange-colored spots along the back and sides." - University of Florida site.
There is a darker form of the caterpillar that is more distinctive - light forms may resemble Orgyia leucostigma.
Atlantic coast from Long Island to FL and west to Texas. More common than O. leucostigma in FL.
Larva, cocoon, pupa, mating adults:
The hairs of the caterpillar may cause irritation to sensitive skin if you handle them, though they are not among the stinging caterpillars.
Orgyia detrita appear to have urticating setae on the tussocks of the caterpillar and other parts of the body as well. These urticating setae have distally projecting antrose barbs. In the similar Orgyia leucostigma (see See also section), these setae are attached to venom glands at the base (Gilmer, 1925).
Whitemarked Tussock Moth, Orgyia leucostigma
. Its caterpillar is very similar but lacks orange warts along sides.
Gilmer, P. M. 1925. A comparative study of the poison apparatus of certain lepidopterous larvae. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 18: 203-239.
Wagner, Caterpillars of Eastern North America
- images of DNA supported specimens (3)
Tussock Moths of Florida
- all stages of the life cycle are illustrated
University of Florida images
- two versions of the caterpillar