Rusty Tussock Moth Egg Case
There are many species of tussock moths, and in their larval, or caterpillar, stage, most are covered with tufts of hair-like setae, some impressively long. The female rusty tussock moth, Orgyia antiqua, is flightless, so after emerging from her cocoon, she stays put, releasing alluring pheromones and awaiting the arrival of a male suitor. After mating, she lays up to several hundred eggs on top of her empty cocoon and then dies. The flat-topped, cylindrical eggs (with a dark depression on their top) overwinter, and as soon as leaf buds start opening, the eggs hatch, with ready-made meals inches away. Larvae feed on the leaves of birches, oaks, crabapples and black cherry, among others. Pictured is an egg mass on an apple leaf.
This entry was posted on April 3, 2012 by Mary Holland. It was filed under April, Arthropods, Insect Eggs, Insect Signs, Insects, Lepidoptera, Metamorphosis and was tagged with Insect Eggs, Insect Metamorphosis, Insect Signs, insects, Lepidoptera, moths, Orgyia antiqua.