Home / Erebidae Moth / Banded Tussock Moth (Halysidota tessellaris)

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.

Banded Tussock Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Erebidae
  • Genus: Halysidota
  • Scientific Name: Halysidota tessellaris

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

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.

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

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Pupa

The pupa remains enclosed in a gray cocoon covered with the larval hairs.

Banded Tussock Moth Pupa

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Adult Moth

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

Halysidota tessellaris

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Eggs

The oval, pale green eggs occur in clusters on the lower side of their host plants’ leaves.

Quick Facts

Other NamesPale tiger moth, tessellated hallisidota
DistributionThroughout North America covering southern Canada, Texas, and central Florida
HabitatMeadows, shrublands, grasslands
Predators Birds, bats
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsBirch, ash, blueberry, alder, chestnut, hazel, elm, grape, oak
Adult DietNectar

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.
Banded Tussock Moth Image

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Pale Tiger Moth

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Banded Tussock Moth Picture

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