The Spotted Tussock Moth

  • The Spotted Tussock Moth (Lophocampa maculata) belongs to the subfamily Arctinae (Tiger Moths).
  • These moths are well protected from being eaten by predators.
  • As adults they make a clicking sound that helps prevent them from being eaten by bats.
  • According to Marshall (2009) Insects their Natural History and Diversity: "The clicking sound these moths make in response to bat sonar is like a warning "color" bats can hear. There is also some evidence that the moth clicking can interfere with bat sonar."
  • As caterpillars they are well protected with their bright warning coloration. According to Marshall they are the most distasteful of all moths.
  • Although very rare the caterpillars have caused harm to at least one human (look at spotted tussock moth allergy).
  • One good source of information about them can be found in GEOGRAPHIC VARIATION IN ADULT AND LARVAL LOPHOCAMPA MACULATA by Kenneth Strothkamp
Sub Category: 
Butterflies and Moths