Thursday, January 21, 2010

Presenting...The Tussock Moth Caterpillar

It's time for another Nature Walks with Mark Fraser species spotlight. Today he looks at the tussock moth caterpillar.

"I think that tussock moth caterpillars are like jewels of the natural world," Mark said. "They have colors that are stunning examples of the true 'art' that you can find within nature. There are many varieties of tussock moth caterpillars and 3 of my favorites are shown in this film."

"Some species, like the milkweed tussock moth caterpillars, are particular eaters and focus their attention towards milkweed and dogbane plants. The white-marked tussock moth caterpillars will actually feed on many different species and are not picky at all."

He shares that the milkweed tussock moth caterpillar is toxic to predators, due to the plants it ingests. The white-sided tussock moth caterpillar can even cause a serious skin rash when handled, so Mark warns not to pick them up.

Better to watch them safely here in comfort.

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