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Manto Tussock Moth (Dasychira manto)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Manto Tussock Moth

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Image Credit: Alex - icycatelf- Bowen
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A marbled mess of color and pattern, the caterpillars of the Manto Tussock Moth have a hankering for certain evergreens.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Like many Tussock moths, the Manto Tussock Moth has bristled bumps and furry striped legs. The dark wings of the male differ from the lighter wings seen in females. Males are also robed in shades of brown, gray, and copper. 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 (back) side. 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.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Erebidae
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          Genus: Dasychira
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            Species: manto
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Dasychira manto
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 31mm to 48mm (1.22" to 1.88")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, black, white, gray, copper, tan
Descriptors: furry, hairy, bumps, legs, spots, lines, mottled, multicolored, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 31mm (1.2in) and 48mm (1.9in)
Lo: 31mm
Md: 39.5mm
Hi: 48mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Manto Tussock Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Manto Tussock Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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