White-marked Tussock Moth

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White-marked Tussock Moth, Ste. Genevieve County, MO

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!

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White-marked Tussock Moth, Cuivre River SP, Lincoln County, MO

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.

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White-marked Tussock Moth, Ste. Genevieve County, MO

Until next time…
-OZB

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