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White-marked Tussock Moth

Orgyia leucostigma

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A native to North America, the White-marked Tussock Moth can still cause damage to trees when present in large numbers.
White-marked Tussock Moth

White Marked Tussock Moth larva (Orgyia leucostigma)

Photo: Forestry Archive, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bugwood.org

The White-marked Tussock Moth is a common native of North America, living throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada. The caterpillars feed on a range of host plants, including birch, cherry, apple, oak, and even some coniferous trees like fir and spruce.

White-marked Tussock Moths produce two generations each year. The first generation of caterpillars emerge from their eggs in spring, and feed on foliage for 4 to 6 weeks before pupating. In two weeks, the adult moth emerges from the cocoon, ready to mate and lay eggs. The cycle is repeated, with the eggs from the second generation overwintering.

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