Forest Tent Caterpillar

eastern tent caterpillar

This is the eastern tent caterpillar adult

Forest tent caterpillar

Scientific name: Malacosoma disstria Hubner
(Lepidoptera: Lasciocampidae)

Facts: In spite of the name the forest tent caterpillar does not make a tent. This species is common and widespread for a few weeks in the spring when it feeds on many species of broad-leaved trees especially elms and oaks. Caterpillars can be identified by a series of white key-hole shaped markings with one per segment down the back. The adults are rather drab, fuzzy moths that are only out for a few weeks in late spring or early summer.

The eastern tent caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum, makes a tent and feeds mostly on peaches, plums, cherries, and hawthorns. The caterpillars have a single white dash on each segment of the back.

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