The Rusty Tussock Moth or Vapourer (Orgyia antiqua) is native to Europe, but now has a transcontinental distribution. A striking dimorphism exists between the male and the female moths of this species. The male moth shown here typically has orange to red-brown wings. Each fore wing has a white comma-shaped (tornal) spot. He has marked plumose (short, bipectinate) antennae and a wingspan between 35 and 38 mm (~1.5 in). The female moth has vestigial wings and is flightless. Several hundred eggs are laid on the outside of the female's empty cocoon, usually attached to a host plant. The species overwinters in the egg stage.
The adult moths do not feed, so only live a short time. In North America, only one generation occurs in a year and fly between May and October. The males are diurnal, flying during the day, but are occasionally attracted to light. This individual was photographed during the day in August in Kingfield, Maine.
The image is a focus stack of 34 exposures.