• J. Woken

A Local Wild Photo Short: Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillar(s)!

Updated: Jan 8

In addition to the hearty appetites of monarch caterpillars, you may have noticed a fuzzier little dude (or two… or three…) chomping at the succulent leaves of the milkweed plants this past summer. You can see one in the background in this photo:

A monarch caterpillar hangs from beneath a partially eaten milkweed leaf. A milkweed tiger moth lurks in the background. / Jessica Woken

I was struck speechless (and grossed out) by a herd of newly hatched milkweed tiger moth caterpillars all hanging out (literally) on the underside of a milkweed leaf not too many weeks ago. Here’s that creepy-crawly image:

Yuck. But we can at least rest in the knowledge that these fuzzy guys will eventually morph into the beautiful milkweed tiger moth (aka milkweed tussock moth). You’ll know it by its brownish-gray wings and strikingly gorgeous body stripes. It almost looks like its wearing a long orange and black striped stocking… just in time for Halloween!


#milkweed #TheLocalWild #moth #larva #caterpillar #butterfly #nature