Banded Tussock Moth (Halysidota tessellaris)
Banded tussock moth is part of the Erebidae family native of different parts of North America. They get their name because of their hairy appearance and banded pattern on their wings.
- Family: Erebidae
- Genus: Halysidota
- Scientific Name: Halysidota tessellaris
Description and Identification
They have a yellow, orange, or dark gray body and bright red head capsules, alongside tufts of long hair on the front and rear end. They are 3.5 cm long, and mostly occupy the upper surfaces of the leaves of their host plants.
The pupa remains enclosed in a gray cocoon covered with the larval hairs.
Sexual Dimorphism: Not prominent
Color and Appearance: When the wings are opened, they appear light brown with beige bands on the upper part, bordered in black. When the wings are closed, the color and pattern remain the same.
The body is hairy yellow, while the thorax is marked with bluish-green lines on the upper side.
Average Wingspan: 4 – 4.5 cm
Flight Pattern: Erratic
Seasons: May – August
The oval, pale green eggs occur in clusters on the lower side of their host plants’ leaves.
|Other Names||Pale tiger moth, tessellated hallisidota|
|Distribution||Throughout North America covering southern Canada, Texas, and central Florida|
|Habitat||Meadows, shrublands, grasslands|
|Lifespan of Adults||Not recorded|
|Host Plants||Birch, ash, blueberry, alder, chestnut, hazel, elm, grape, oak|
Did You Know
- English Botanist, James Edward Smith, described this moth first in 1797.
- They are not poisonous, but the caterpillar’s prickly hair could lead to mild sting in humans, irritating the skin.