Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Milkweed Tussock Moth - Euchaetes egle

Size: Wingspan 32-43 mm

Identification: Wings are usually unmarked and gray. The abdomen is yellow with black spots.

Range: Easter half of the US plus Quebec and Ontario.

Habitat: Fields and edges with host plant ( milkweed ).

Life Cycle: Larvæ feed on milkweed ( Asclepias sp. ). Adults are sometimes found on the host plant during the day. Females lay eggs in "rafts" and the caterpillars are gregarious during instars 1-3. They become solitary in later instars when marked with bright tufts.

May defoliate milkweed. But at least they're not pest right? ;)


Anonymous said...


I am a teacher and I have a terrarium in my classroom. I found a Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar and I was wondering if it will become a moth in the captivity or if it needs to have winter conditions. I've seen some information saying it takes 3 weeks and some saying it overwinters as a pupa. Can you help me?

Brittanie said...

It might become a moth in captivity but I can't be too sure as I've never heard of them in captivity before.

You could try it and see what happens. I'm not sure if they overwinter or not.

But I do know that caterpillars of other species of Arctiidae moths do.

But like I said try it and see what happens. :)

I'll keep looking for anything that mentions overwintering in this species.

Anonymous said...

I have been raising Milkweed Tigers and various other caterpillars for many many years.
Once the Milkweed Tiger has made its cacoon I usually put a little dirt in a container, a stick and then put it in my garage. I mist it once a month during the winter with water. In April I pull the container back out to where I can see it more regular basis. They usually come out closer to when milkweed is back in season.
The caterpiller is very fun to watch and it is very colorful. Not as exciting as a moth--gray with a bit of peach.
Good luck and enjoy.

Vicki Newburg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicki Newburg said...

I have a container full of these caterpillars and it is August. I live in Ontario. So will these remain in caterpillar until they pupate for the winter??