Orgyia pseudotsugata (Lymantriidae)
||Male is greyish with feathery antennae, hindwings brown,forewings grey.
||Female in contrast, has tiny rudimentary wings (therefore
flightless) and small thread-like antennae.
||Colourful; 2 - 2.6 cm long; densely covered with long hairs,
2 "pencils" of long black hairs project forward from the prothorax, and 1
"pencil" of black hairs projects backwards from the 8th segment of the abdomen.
Also note short tufts of coloured hairs on mid-back of first 4 abdominal
||Eggs are laid on empty cocoons on foliated twigs on the
lower half of the tree. Newly hatched larvae feed on new foliage and cause
it to shrivel and turn brown. Later larvae feed on both new and old foliage.
By late summer, crowns of most of the firs may be completely defoliated.
Caterpillars produce loose webbing as they travel from branch to branch which
forms a netting which catches and holds pieces of needles dropped as the
larvae feed. Severely defoliated trees may be weakened enough to become
firs. In B.C. it feeds primarily on
Outbreaks periodically develop explosively and after about 3 years subside
abruptly due to a nucleopolyhedrosis virus. During outbreaks severe economic
damage may occur.
References and Links:
EAG: 483-485; FC: 224.
See HForest and JP17.