Tolype Moth (Tolype velleda)
The tolype moth, also known as the large tolype moth or the velleda lappet moth, is a member of the lappet moth family. They are recognizable by their fuzzy white fur, which increases their visibility. Naturalist and entomologist Casper Stoll first described this moth in 1791.
Description and Identification
The caterpillar is a dull, gray color, extremely hairy. It has a flap on its pro legs that eventually disappear on maturing. The larvae are primarily in season during the June – August span.
The pupal stage of these moths lasts for a few weeks and takes place on the host plant.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present.
Female moths tend to be larger. Also, the markings and patterns on their bodies appear paler and less prominent than their male counterparts.
Color and Appearance
Forewing: When opened, the wings appear dark gray with white wavy bands running across them. When closed, the pattern remains the same, the white lines little less visible.
They are brown, deposited on the leaves of the host plant. The females give the eggs protection by covering them with the scales on their thorax.
|Distribution||North to Ontario, west to Texas, and from Nova Scotia to Central Florida|
|Habitat||Forests and urban landscapes|
|Lifespan of Adults||4 months|
|Host Plants||Ash, plum, birch, apple, oak, and other broadleaf trees|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|
Did You Know
They are a pest who, if abundant in population, can partly or entirely defoliate an entire tree.