tussock moth

Tussock moth caterpillar

6052  I don’t know if this is a pest or not but I didn’t want to kill it if it is! Found on raspberry bushes in Calgary, AB on June 20, 2017. Does not seem to be eating the raspberry leaves. May have fallen from nearby apple or spruce. This caterpillar is about 1.5cm long and maybe 3mm wide. It has a tuft on its rear end and the 4 white spots are actually tufts also. I have ruled out a white satin moth but have no idea what else it could be. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Melissa

This is a caterpillar of a tussock moth in the genus Orgyia – some of their body hairs reportedly can cause an irritating rash on tender skin.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.