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Spongy moth

Lymantria dispar

The two sexes are easy to distinguish: the females have white wings with black spots and thin antennae, while the males are darker and smaller and have feathery antennae. The wings are marked with wavy grey lines in both sexes. Their wingspan is 3 to 4 cm for males and 5.6 to 6.7 cm for females. The females are so heavy that they cannot fly.

In their last stage, the caterpillars are hairy and have small raised coloured spots on their backs. The spots nearest the head are blue, and those farther down the body, red. The head is black and yellow. The caterpillars may be up to 6.5 cm long.

White-marked tussock moth

Orgyia leucostigma

The adults in this species are quite different: the cream or light grey females are very hairy and wingless, while the males are grey or brownish, with small white spots and dark markings on their forewings. The males have well-developed feathery antennae and a wingspan of up to 3.5 cm.

The caterpillars can be recognized by their bright colours and assorted tufts of hair. They have a red head, a black stripe down the back and yellow stripes on the sides. Two long tufts of black hair stand up near the head, and four white, grey or yellow brush-shaped tufts of hair can be seen on the back. At the tip of the abdomen is a long, dark hair pencil. The caterpillars are up to 3.5 cm long.

Isabella tiger moth

Pyrrharctia isabella

The caterpillar, called a “woolly bear caterpillar” because of its fuzzy appearance, is black at the ends and rust-coloured in the middle. It lives alone and is about 4 cm long.

Tiger moths


This family includes small to medium-sized moths, often quite colourful. The most colourful species are called “tiger moths.” Other species resemble wasps and are known as “wasp moths.” Their caterpillars are usually very hairy and some, like the “woollybear,” are quite well known.

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