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Rusty Tussock Moth Eggs

I was attempting to climb a fairly young sugar maple in order to reach an old nest at the very top, when I slipped and fell.  Little did I know that my failure to reach the nest was going to present me with the opportunity to discover a mass of overwintering insect eggs, right at eye level on the tree trunk when I landed on the ground.

Last fall in a tree cranny a female caterpillar female rusty tussock moth (Orgyia antiqua) wove a cocoon in which she overwintered.  After emerging as a wingless adult in the spring she mated with a male rusty tussock moth that had flown to her, and laid these eggs on her cocoon.

2 responses

  1. This is the cocoon of a female rusty tussock moth (Orgyia antiqua), who laid eggs on her own cocoon after emerging as a wingless adult (and presumably after mating with a winged male who came to find her).

    August 8, 2011 at 2:57 am

    • Thanks so much for the identification, Charley!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:04 am

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