Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Orgyia antiqua

Vapourer Moth



Male        Female

This species, also known as the Rusty Tussock Moth, is a widespread species occurring across North America, temperate Asia, Europe and North Africa. It also has a wide range of foodplants, most of which are broadleaved trees, though it is also occasionally found on conifers. In this area I have found it frequently on willow, alder, apple and hawthorn, but also on other plants as diverse as Douglas Fir, Juniper, Western Red Cedar, Oregon Grape and Wild Strawberry. The caterpillar has tufts of hairs on its back which look like the tufts of bristles on a toothbrush. The male and female caterpillars are easily told apart. The males are small and basically black; the females are large, fat, and basically bluish-grey. The males fly during the daytime in summer. The females cannot fly and they can barely walk. They lay their eggs in a batch on their own cocoon, and the eggs overwinter.

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