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Tolype velleda - Large Tolype Moth

Can you identify this caterpillar?

Tolype_velleda,_larva,DaveWagner Tolype_velleda,moth_AubreyScott This particular large caterpillar was new to me, so I called an entomologist at the University of Florida who identified it as the caterpillar of the Large Tolype moth.

The two – three inch caterpillar you showed me can be found feeding on the leaves of apple, ash, birch, elm, oak, plum, and several other common trees here in Northeast Florida.

The first thing you will notice about the Large Tolype adult moth is the white to grey hairy body and legs. The moth typically grows from 1 – 2.5 inches long. The Large Tolype moth is a very striking moth with variations of color from white to black and grey.  I would love to have one in my collection.

The Large Tolype moth can commonly be found from as far north as Nova Scotia, south to central Florida, and as far westward as Minnesota, Nebraska, and Texas. While many moth caterpillars can cause severe damage to trees, shrubs and vegetables, this one generally does not cause enough damage to be of a serious economic concern.  Therefore, we would not recommend using any pesticide for control unless a problem develops.