ID needed of burnt orange lep larvae with gray tufts of hair seen in

Mark J. Leoschke markjl at
Mon Aug 14 21:03:38 EDT 2000


I am a botanist by training, but had one entomology course as an
undergrad.  I have an interest in lepidoptera and try to identify some
of what I see in the field.

On August 3, 2000 I was in Muscatine County in east-central Iowa, a
county across the river from Illinois.  Late in the morning  I was on a
sand prairie ridge above the floodplain of the Cedar River.  I noticed
roughly inch long, burnt orange lep larvae with gray tufts of hairs (not
a continuous mat of hairs-- the burnt orange color was easily seen) on
their bodies.  They were feeding on common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca),
whorled milkweed (A. verticillata), wavy-leaved milkweed (A.
amplexicaulis) and common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia).  Some
plants had a single larva, others had up to three.  I have not been able
to find a picture that matches these larvae.  Any ideas?

I have heard the U.S. Forest Service puts out a useful reference on lep
larvae with lots of photos.  What is the citation for this reference?
Is it still in print?  How much does it cost?

Thanks for your help.

Mark J. Leoschke
Des Moines, Iowa

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