Raising a Milkweed Tiger Moth

Milkweed Tiger CaterpillarWe found this caterpillar about two weeks ago when we were getting some milkweed for our monarchs.  We discovered that it is a Milkweed Tiger Moth and it is also called a Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar.  

We’ve been raising it to see what it looks like.  Yesterday, it was roaming really really fast.  It looked like a piece of yarn that was in a race and had three minature jet engines going all the time (well, probably not that fast.)

Momma told the girls to put the caterpillar outside because we were not sure where they make cocoons, and the girls noticed it was a cocoon.  It’s a cocoon because it is a moth caterpillar, not a butterfly caterpillar.  Now we know.

CocoonSo now we wait over winter to see what it does.  That is called waiting “overwinter” for us.  We are going to put it in the garage.  We will have it in a small plastic container with holes so we can check and to, hopefully, keep animals away from it.

Momma read this is one of the easier moths to raise.  So far it has been easier than a monarch, because Momma cleaned it out when we weren’t watching and it did not eat as much milkweed as the monarch caterpillars.  She said that Banded Woolly Bear caterpillars are easy but it eats a few different plants.  Luna Moths are supposed to be easy too, if you can find them.  I want to raise a Luna Moth or two next. (Hint Hint–Gift idea! 🙂 )

Thanks Wikipedia!Here is what it should look like in the spring.

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