Milkweed Tiger Moth (Milkweed Tussock Moth)

Euchaetes egle, the Milkweed Tiger Moth, called the Milkweed Tussock Moth, eats both milkweed and dogbane. Both milkweed and dogbane are in the Apocynaceae family. (Dogbane is often mistaken for milkweed by people who raise Monarch caterpillars. Although their flowers and seed pods are not similar, their leaves are almost identical.)

Milkweed Tussock Moth Eggs Covered With Momma Moth Scales

Milkweed Tussock Moth Eggs
Covered With Scales
From the Momma Moth

Milkweed Tussock Moth Euchaetes egle Hatchling Caterpillars

Milkweed Tussock Moth
Euchaetes egle
Hatchling Caterpillars

milkweed tusock moth Euchaetes egle young caterpillars larvae

Euchaetes egle
Before and after molting
First & second instar caterpillars

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars Euchaetes egle

Milkweed Tussock Moth
Young Caterpillars
Euchaetes egle

Milkweed Tussock Moths Euchaetes egle Young Larvae Molting

Milkweed Tussock Moths
Euchaetes egle
Young Larvae Molting

Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillars Euchaetes egle Finished Molting

Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillars Euchaetes egle Finished Molting

Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillar Euchaetes egle Finished Molting

Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar<br>Euchaetes egle

Milkweed Tussock Moth
Caterpillar Ready to Molt
Euchaetes egle

Distinctive Pattern of Chewed Leaf Left By Milkweed Tussock Moth

Distinctive Pattern of Chewed Leaf
Left By Milkweed Tussock Moth

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar Euchaetes egle

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Euchaetes egle

Large Amount of Frass Indicates Large Numbers of Caterpillars

Large Amount of Frass Indicates
Large Numbers of Caterpillars
NOT Monarch Caterpillars
That Eat Singly

Cocoon of Milkweed Tussock Moth Euchaetes egle

Cocoon of Milkweed Tussock Moth
Euchaetes egle

Pupa of Milkweed Tussock Moth Euchaetes egle

Pupa Removed from Cocoon
Milkweed Tussock Moth
Euchaetes egle

Milkweed Tussock Moth Euchaetes egle Adult

Milkweed Tussock Moth Adult
Euchaetes egle

Milkweed Tussock Moths lay their eggs in large clusters and sometimes cover their eggs with scales from their abdomens. Their egg clusters are often mistaken for spider egg sacs. Egg clusters, at other times, are laid without a scale covering.

Caterpillars are gregarious, staying closely together as they eat. Older caterpillars may separate a bit from each other on the plant.

Young caterpillars leave part of the leaf skeleton, a distinctive marker that this is/was the species that were eating the plant. Monarch and Queen caterpillars eat the entire leaf area or the entire leaf, not leaving a skeleton of the leaf behind.

Unlike Monarch or Queen caterpillars, the frass (excrement) of these younger moth caterpillars pile up on leaves in large amounts. Frass of Monarch and Queen caterpillars will be seen only in small amounts as the butterflies than use milkweed as a host plant are not gregarious but eat singly.

These yellow, black, and white caterpillars resemble a bit of tufted shag carpet. By the time they are finished, even allowing for predators, they often strip a milkweed plant of most or all of its leaves.

The adult moth has gray wings and a yellow/orange body with black dots down its back.

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