Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Big Antennae on a Small Moth

This White-marked Tussock Moth (Orgyia leucostigma) showed up on our porch last night:

The pattern on its wings is pretty enough, but not really anything to write home about (or to write a blog post about, as the case may be). But the things that struck me most about this little creature were its super furry legs and, of course, its big hulking antennae. I bet those things can pick up some serious pheromones! (And they're kind of adorable.)

Here's a fun/strange fact: White-marked Tussock Moth females don't have wings. They just wait for the males to come to them, they mate and lay eggs, and then they die. Meanwhile, this male is out cruising around, putting his big antennae to good use. Insects are so weird!


  1. Found something very similar in northern California but it flew away quickly so I couldn't really identify it. If they were antennae, which I assume they were, they were all curled up and looked like huge eyeballs :)

  2. Also nice pictures! Those moths do have exceptionally large looking eyes for their bodies...