I found a large number of hairy caterpillars on a Pomegranate tree at Kolenchery, Kerala on 7/8/2019. There were also a few pupa.
I decided to take one home and rear it.
I was sure it was a Tussock Moth caterpillar as I noticed the tufts of hair, or tussocks on it’s back. The clumps of bristles give these the appearance of a toothbrush. As I spotted it on the pomegranate tree, I just had to narrow down pomegranate pests and I identified it as the Brown tussock moth larva or Dasychira mendosa.
I’ve also brought two pupa home.
I placed the pupa carefully on a twig inside a plastic container. I’ll observe them the following days in hopes of it to hatch into the moths.
My only concern in rearing this caterpillar is the lack of pomegranate trees near where I live. I’ve placed some mango leaves in a container for it to feed on, as I read these are also pests to Mangifera indica.