A heavy infestation of this pest may destroy all new spring growth. The larva may also eat into newly set or young fruit. Western tussock moths (Orgyia vetusta, formally known as Hemerocampa vetusta) are normally present in this area, being native to the west coast of North America, but chilly winter weather and natural predators usually keep their numbers limited. The Tussock Moth is native to the forests of western North America producing one generation a year.
These moths have an ingenious way of dispersing themselves. Forest Health Alert Douglas-fir tussock moth (Orgyia pseudotsugata): Outbreak status of a conifer defoliating caterpillar Importance. Larvae emerge in March and mature in May.

The species is dimorphic; the females are flightless. These stunning guys are the larvae of the Western Tussock Moth (Orgyia vetusta). A mature larva is 0.5 to 1 inch long with a gray background color and numerous red, blue, and yellow spots.
Warmer winter weather allows these moths have a boom population, and 2018 is one of those years. When is tussock moth active and what does it look like? The western tussock moth, Orgyia vetusta, formerly Hemerocampa vetusta, is a moth found in the Pacific States and British Columbia, as well as an isolated population in Boise County, Idaho. Apr 23, 2018 - Unknown caterpillar? Western tussock moth (Orgyia vetusta) Western tussock moth (Orgyia vetusta) Año Nuevo 2014 Tussock moth in situ Tussock moth caterppilllar April 13, 2014. No Comments; 1; Share this: What was going on in the Museum’s oak trees last spring? Behold the Western Tussock Caterpillar. Her paper showing parasitoid activity in this population may be seen here. The Tussock moth’s eggs begin to hatch in late February and the young larvae feed on the remaining egg mass. Tussock moth caterpillar on thumb. This is a native moth that ranges over much of the Pacific States and can be found here in the spring at Cabrillo National Monument. Four white tufts of hair emerge from its back as well as two black tufts from its head and one from its tail end. By Kristen Fuller January 23, 2019 Blog. Western tussock moth caterpillars crawl on a sycamore tree on North Market Street in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, April 28, 2019. We were watering the plants in the yard and came across three of these on our geranium and one on our rosebush. It was the yearly ritual between the Western Tussock moth, its caterpillar, its cocoon and the insects and birds that love to eat them! A western tussock moth caterpillar carries a piece of leaf on the branch of a sycamore tree in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, April 28, 2019.

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