This gorgeous redhead is the White-marked Tussock Moth (Lymantriidae – Orgyia leucostigma – 8316). I was amazed at how abundant they were and routinely found on the underside of leaves on woody plants this summer. Most folks have never seen one!
Besides their striking colors and patterns, these moths have toxin-filled hairs that can cause irritation, especially to areas of sensitive skin. I have not yet photographed an adult, but I was interested to hear that the females of this species are nearly wingless and cannot fly.
Until next time…