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Typical member of the small European and New World lepidopteran family Liparidae (formerly Lymantriidae). The large, hairy larvae of most species have hair tufts, or tussocks; many have stinging hairs. Several species, including the gypsy moth, browntail moth, satin moth, and nun moth, damage trees. The larvae feed on foliage, sometimes foraging from a silken tent or a colonial nest of webbed leaves. Larvae pupate in a cocoon attached to a tree branch or trunk. Adult females range from white to brown; some, such as the white-marked tussock moth, are wingless. See alsomoth.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on tussock moth, visit Britannica.com.