This fuzzy moth may appear delicate, but tiger moths like this one are good at defending themselves. To ward off predatory birds and bats, many tiger moths create high-frequency clicks with organs called tymbals. Some tiger moth caterpillars also feed on plants with chemical compounds that make them distasteful or toxic; the moths’ clicks warn predators that they are not safe to eat.

Lophocampa sobrina is vulnerable to decline, not from predators but from fragmentation of its very restricted habitat. Found only in coastal central and northern California—prime real estate—the moths’ caterpillars feed primarily on native Monterey pine trees, as well as some other plants. When their favored host plants are cut down or removed, it reduces the moths’ populations.

Cousin tiger moth
Lophocampa sobrina
1.95 inches (5 cm)
Vulnerable (natureserve)
Ecological Role
AMNH Specimen Number
AMNH_IZC 00368249
California, U.S.