|Black-waved Flannel Moth - REK|
I almost brushed this white ball of fluff off the porch swing until my curiosity overcame me. A photograph with a macro lens confirmed that it was actually a Black-waved Flannel Moth, Lagoa crispata. They fly from May to October and produce one to two broods a year.
Their caterpillars are white fluffy creatures initially, looking like the silk around an egg sac. Don't let the softness fool you - they have stinging spines underneath their fluffy coat. According to Jeffery Pippen of Duke University "Early instars are pure white, while later instars become more orange-gray." They feed on oaks, poplars, Prunus species, sassafras, willows, and other trees and shrubs.
|Later instar - Even with its hair wavy, it still stings!|
|Purple-crested Slug Moth|
Like many lepidoptera, their common name of "slug" derives from the appearance of their larvae (caterpillars) which move like slugs, gliding on their prolegs and suckers . They can be densely hairy or hairless, but usually they have stinging hairs. They feed on a variety of woody and herbaceous plants and overwinter in loose, oval cocoons .
|A. spinuloides, tiny hairs but they sting! Troy Bartlett CC|
The colorful Purple Crested Slug caterpillar consumes a wide variety of plants and trees. Known larval hosts include Prunus species, birch, chestnut, beech, cherry, and willow. Willows are common along Bull Creek and wild plum are scattered along the drive, so I guess this was just another visit by one of our many neighbors along the creek.