Habitat: From southern Canada, and south to Texas and Florida in North America
Status: No Conservation Concerns
The Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillar (Euchaetes egle) is probably one of the fuzziest caterpillars I’ve ever seen! I really like how it’s rockin’ the punk hairstyle – so hip bro.
The adults are a shadow of their former selves, with the only evidence that hints at its tiger-esque beginnings is the yellow/orange abdomen.
The coolest part about these caterpillars is how they swarm together when feeding on their favorite treat – the milkweed plant (how could you have ever have guessed that?!?!); though sometimes they are found on dogbane as well. Like most species in this family, it has chemical defenses it acquires from its host plants, in this case, cardiac glycosides. These are retained into the adult stage and deter bats, and presumably other predators, from feeding on them.