Forest Tent Caterpillar

Larvae have a dark-gray to brownish-black background body color, highlighted by broad, pale- blue lines and thin, broken yellow lines extending along each side. On the dorsum of each abdominal segment is a distinct, whitish keyhole or shoeprint-shaped marking. Larvae are also somewhat hairy, the setae being fine, whitish in color, and sparsely distributed. Mature larvae are 2 to 2.5 in. (50 to 64 mm) in length. Pupation occurs in a pale- yellow, loosely spun silken cocoon. The stout-bodied adult moths are tan to buff-brown in color, with two darker, thin parallel lines extending across the mid-portion of each forewing, the area between often being dark and appearing as a single, broad, dark band. The wingspread ranges from 1 to 1 3/4 in. (25-45 mm). Eggs occur in masses of 100 to 350, forming bands up to 1 in. (25 mm) in length that encircle small diameter twigs. Egg masses are coated with a dark-brown, frothy, cement-like substance called spumaline. View the forest tent caterpillar moth here!


Tent Caterpillar
Tent Caterpillar – light color phase
Tent Caterpillar
Tent Caterpillar – dark color phase
tent caterpillars weave a tent-like structure for their young
Tent caterpillars quickly construct a “tent” made of web











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Posted: January 26, 2013

Category: Natural Resources, Wildlife
Tags: Big Bend Bugs!, Big Bend Wakulla, Bug Identification, Bugs, Caterpillars, Environment, Landscape, Les Harrison, Natural Wakulla, Nature, Wakulla, Wakulla CED, Wakulla County Extension

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