The Basics:

  • Does it sting? No, although the fur may be irritating to sensitive skin.

  • What does it eat? Sycamores and related plants.

  • Will it seriously damage plants or trees? No, it seldom occurs in enough numbers to do damage.

  • Is it rare? No.

  • What does it turn into? A cool, pale-brown tiger moth.

  • Can you raise it to an adult? Yes -- it will spin a cocoon in the container.

Sycamore Tussock Moth

This species is quite common in some parts of the United States. You'll most likely find it wandering around looking for a safe place to make a cocoon. The moth is a pretty brown-and-cream color and is part of the genus Halysidota, which includes many similar species found all over the US. In some ways, it looks cooler as a caterpillar than as a moth, but that's just my opinion! This species has hairs that come loose very easily and may irritate people with sensitive skin. If you have a reaction, simply wash with soap and water and put a little calamine lotion on it.

Tiger moth, Halisydota species

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