Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar (Orgyia leucostigma)

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar (Orgyia leucostigma)

Contact with hairs may cause an allergic reaction. At first glance I thought the lumps on its back were parasoids, but turns out they are little scrub brush type appendages.

Shown on EARLEAF GREENBRIER (Smilax auriculata).

198 Larval hosts are listed for Neartic in the HOSTS database yet Smilax spp. isn’t one of them so maybe he was just using it as a highway to find a food source.
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/research/projects/hostplants/search/index.dsml

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/foltz/eny3541/Tussock/Orgyia.htm
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