Moths of the Adirondack Mountains: Spotted Tussock Moth (Lophocampa maculata) at the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House (19 June 2013)

Moths of the Adirondack Mountains:
Spotted Tussock Moth (Lophocampa maculata)

Moths of the Adirondack Mountains: Spotted Tussock Moth (Lophocampa maculata) at the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House (20 June 2013) Moths of the Adirondack Mountains: Spotted Tussock Moth in the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House (20 June 2013)

The Spotted Tussock Moth (Lophocampa maculata) is a small, attractive moth which may be seen in the Adirondack Mountains in June. The Spotted Tussock Moth is a tiger moth and a member of the family Erebidae. [1] This moth is also known as the Spotted Tussock, Yellow-spotted Tiger Moth and the Mottled Tiger. [2] [3] The name "Tussock Moth" is from the tufts of hair on the caterpillar. [4]

Identification: This moth has a deep yellow fore wing with four brown bands. [5] A partial fifth band extends inward from the costa. [6] The hind wing is translucent and is a paler yellow and unmarked. [7] [8] The moth's wing span is 3.5-4.3 centimeters.[9]

Life History: The larva of the Spotted Tussock Moth is black at both ends with four or five yellow or orange abdominal bands, broken by black. [10] Caterpillar hosts include birch, maple, oak, poplar, and willow. [11] Larvae prefer polar and willow leaves, but will also feed on alder, basswood, birth, maple, and oak. [12]

Range and Habitat: Spotted Tussock Moths are widespread throughout most of North America. [13] They may be found in boreal forests containing its host plants (deciduous tress.) [14] The range of this moth extends across southern Canada,and the western US, south to South Carolina and Kentucky. [15]

Flight: The adult Spotted Tussock Moth flies from May to July across its range. [16] The flight period for this moth in the Adirondack Park has not been documented. It is not a frequent guest in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House. In 2012, the Spotted Tussock Moth was recorded as present on 9, 11, and 29 June. [17] In 2013, this moth was present in the Butterfly House in late June. [18]

References

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