Tufts of fabric and threads are always finding their way outside my studio. They travel on my feet and clothes, on Fate’s back, fall off the bristle of my broom, or get plucked by the wind through my open door.
When I saw this colorful bundle of thread I didn’t know what to make of it. But when I picked it up and it curled up into an even tighter ball, I could see it was actually a caterpillar.
It’s a Milkweed Tiger or Tussock caterpillar. At this stage, the caterpillar will soon be ready to spin a cocoon. It will stay in the cocoon over the winter and emerge as a Moth in the spring.
I found several Milkweek Tiger Moths this spring in the windows of my studio and in the house.
Like Monarch Butterflies, they eat the milkweed leaves. They also help to pollinate the milkweed, which may be one of the reasons milkweed is beginning to spread on our wild front lawn.