A marbled mess of color and pattern, the caterpillars of the Manto Tussock Moth have a hankering for certain evergreens.
Like many Tussock moths, the Manto Tussock Moth has bristled bumps and furry striped legs. The dark wings of the male contrast with lighter wings seen in females. Shades of brown, gray and copper cover males. Large, feathery antennae curve toward the body when resting with wings flat. Tawny brown patches on the forewings are surrounded by white. In warm conditions, females can produce up to three broods in one year. Caterpillars feed on the needles of various pine trees. They are covered with long hairs that are white, black and red. Two long, black tufts of hair extend like antennae near the head. The upper part of the body ('torso') is covered in humps on the dorsal side (back). Three long extensions of dark hairs reach out and away from the rear of the larva. Behavior and life history is unknown for this species despite its expansive range.
Scientific Name: Dasychira manto
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 31mm to 48mm (1.21in to 1.87in)
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Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.