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Milkweed Tussock Moth (Euchaetes egle)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Arctiidae (ark-TYE-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Euchaetes
Species: egle


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Lincolnshire, Illinois
Skowhegan, Maine
Brandywine, Maryland
Crofton, Maryland
Millersville, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Westford, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Shakopee, Minnesota
Belton, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Hudson, New Hampshire
Croton On Hudson, New York
Poughkeepsie, New York
Van Etten, New York
Glouster, Ohio
Lynchburg, Ohio
Norman, Oklahoma
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Albion, Pennsylvania
Hermitage, Pennsylvania
Milford, Pennsylvania
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
, Quebec
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Essex Junction, Vermont
Leesburg, Virginia
Toano, Virginia
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Jul 31, 2015, FlyPoison from Rock Hill, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I recently discovered these unique cats on some common milkweed. I was more than generous letting them completely defoliate several individual plants. I have more than enough so I still have plenty left that still have foliage. I also got to witness a small wasp taking one out towards the end of their cycle. Hope they'll return next summer.


On Nov 11, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Those caterpillars are really interesting - they have such flashy colors as they munch on certain milkweed.


On Sep 19, 2008, NJTracyJean from Highland Lakes, NJ wrote:

Actually, these guys don't take food from monarchs...if anything the other way around. MTM's eat mature milkweed while Monarchs prefer younger plants.


On Sep 9, 2007, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have bunches of these caterpillars almost every year. They will also eat Hemp Dogbane. I took milkweed to a Plant Swap today and ended up with one of these caterpillars in my shirt. It ended up leaving a patch of tiny itchy red bumps on me.


On Jan 26, 2007, DiOhio from Corning, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Host Plant: Milkweeds.

The moth can sometimes be found on milkweed leaves during the day.

If the larva are disturbed they will usually drop to the ground, so look but don't touch. They have to spend a lot of time and energy to get back up on a leaf to eat.

A lot of people hate these caterpillars only because they feel they take food away from the Monarch butterfly. Please remember that there is a place for every species and these guys have to eat too. I actually look forward to seeing them because I think they're one of the cutest caterpillars out there. I also rear Monarchs, so I just plant extra milkweed so everyone has enough to eat.