banded tussock moth

(Halysidota tessellaris)

banded tussock moth
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  Hodges #

8203

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Banded tussock moth is a medium-sized moth with a wingspan of 1¾.

The forewings are long, slender, and yellowish-white, with four wavy, horizontal bands of beige composed of irregular rectangular blocks edged with fine black lines. The hindwings are unbanded and much smaller. They are mostly translucent white with pale yellow near the base. The body is densely covered with yellow hairs. The thorax has two parallel, turquoise blue lines on the upper side.

The caterpillar is up to 1¾ long. It is densely covered with long, yellowish-brown, tan, or dark gray, hollow, unicellular, hair-like structures (setae). The second and third thoracic segments each have a pair of long, moveable, black inner and white outer tufts (lashes). The lashes of the second thoracic segment project forward beyond the head. The eighth abdominal segment also has a set of lashes.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Adult: 1¾ wingspan

Caterpillar: 1¾ long

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Deciduous woods

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Adult: One brood, May to August

Caterpillar: July to October

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The caterpillars make little or no effort to hide, and are often seen on upper leaf surfaces and often near their own leaf damage. This suggests that, like the adult, they unpalatable to birds.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Alder (Alnus spp.), ash (Fraxinus spp.), birch (Betula spp.), blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), elm (Ulmus spp.), grape (Vitis spp.), northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), hazel (Corylus spp.), hickory (Carya spp.), oak (Quercus spp.), poplar (Populus spp.), walnut (Juglans spp.), and willow (Salix spp.).

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Adults acquire alkaloids from host plants making them unpalatable to predators.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 75.

 
  8/21/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common to abundant

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Noctuoidea (noctuid moths)  
 

Family

Erebidae  
 

Subfamily

Arctiinae (tiger moths)  
 

Tribe

Phaegopterini  
 

Genus

Halysidota  
       
 

This genus and species was formerly included in the family Arctiidae. A molecular phylogenetic study on the noctuid moths (Superfamily Noctuidea) published in 2005 clarified the relationships of the noctuid moths and resulted in a reshuffling of the families and subfamilies. The current classification places this genus and species in the family Erebidae.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

banded tussock moth

pale tussock moth

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Seta

A usually rigid bristle- or hair-like structure on butterflies and moths used to sense touch. Plural: setae.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    banded tussock moth   banded tussock moth  
           
    banded tussock moth   banded tussock moth  
           
    banded tussock moth   banded tussock moth  
           
    banded tussock moth   banded tussock moth  
           
    banded tussock moth   banded tussock moth  
 

Mary Walters

 
    banded tussock moth   banded tussock moth  
 

Tom Baker

 
    banded tussock moth      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Banded Tussock Moth
DianesDigitals
  Banded Tussock Moth  
 
About

Copyright DianesDigitals

 
Banded Tussock Moth - Hodges#8203 (Halysidota tessellaris)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Banded Tussock Moth - Hodges#8203 (Halysidota tessellaris)  
Halysidota tessellaris (Banded Tussock Moth)
Allen Chartier
  Halysidota tessellaris (Banded Tussock Moth)  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  A Caterpillar (Halysidota tessellaris)
thedarkone2134
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 2, 2012

I saw this caterpillar while outside. We have lots of these around but I decided to take a video of this one.

After a bit of searching I believe this to be Halysidota tessellaris.

 
  Banded Tussock Moth (Erebidae: Halysidota tessellaris) on Leaf
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 10, 2010

Photographed at the Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota (08 September 2010). Thank you to Carmen Champaqne (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity of this specimen!

 
  Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar - September 7, 2013
Don Gagnon
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 11, 2013

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar (Halysidota tessellaris), Mass Audubon Allens Pond, Westport, Massachusetts, Saturday afternoon, September 7, 2013, 1:20 PM - Canon PowerShot SX50 HS MVI_45616; 1:01 min.

 
  Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Rieko Saito
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 22, 2013

No description available.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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  Alfredo Colon
10/6/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

banded tussock moth  
  Alfredo Colon
8/29/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

banded tussock moth  
  Mary Walters
8/19/2018

Location: Frontenac, MN

This is what I found.  I'd like to know if this is, in fact a tussock moth caterpillar. If so, should I eradicate?

banded tussock moth  
  John Valo
8/20/2018

This is a banded tussock moth (Halysidota tessellaris) caterpillar. It feeds on several species of woody trees and shrubs. When it occurs in large numbers it can cause severe damage to a plant. A single caterpillar is unlikely to harm the plant, though the partially eaten leaves may be unsightly.

I am a naturalist, not a gardener. The decision to eradicate or not would depend on your concern for the plant it is feeding on and the potential harm it may cause.

 
           
 
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