One of the first critters we noticed here at Wolf Ridge was a very unique looking caterpillar. Walking around campus we all noticed these fuzzy black and yellow banded caterpillars with spiky white hairs and had no idea what they were! We very quickly learned they are called the Spotted Tussock Moth.
The Spotted Tussock Moth (or Lophocampa Maculate) can be found in forests with deciduous trees such as Birch, Poplar, Alder, Maple, and Willow. These trees are a favorite food of the caterpillars, and we certainly have plenty here at Wolf Ridge! You can see these caterpillars during late summer from July to September.
The adult moths have a wingspan of 3.5 to 4.3 cm. They are tan with brown bands and have spots on the wings. These adults can be seen from May to July and we will be sure to keep an eye out for these moths!
– Rachel Enwright and Megan Gibbs