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.