Tent caterpillar adults have a wingspan of 37-50 mm; their body is brown or gray. The body, legs, and eyes are covered with hairs, and the antennae are somewhat feathery. Eggs are laid in masses on tree bark or small twigs, and they are held in place by a frothy substance produced by the female. Caterpillars vary in shape from nearly cylindrical to flattened, and are usually covered with fine setae or hairs. They feed on the leaves of a variety of trees. The tent-building species are gregarious and construct a silk retreat or tent on a branch or crotch in the tree. They do not feed from within the tent, like webworms (Arctiidae), butmove outofthe tentto the leaves ofneighboring branches. Caterpillars return to the tent during periods when they are not feeding and atnight. Species that do not build tents assemble in clusters during periods between feeding. Pupation is in a cocoon, and there is usually one generation per year.

Eastern tent caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum Adult wing span is 37-52 mm, and the body is yellowish to dark brown. Wings have some white scales; the fore wings have two oblique yellowish white lines, and the hind wings are uniformly brown with a faint white area. Full-grown caterpillars are about 50 mm long, with black head and with scattered long hairs; there is a dorsal white stripe, bordered with reddish-brown and black lines. Eggs are laid in masses of 150-250 that encircle small twigs on preferred host trees. Hatching occurs in the following spring, about the time new leaves appear on the tree. First-stage caterpillars feed on the egg chorion, then on buds and young leaves. A tent is usually constructed in the crotch of the tree, and it is expanded with the growth of the caterpillars. From this tent, caterpillars crawl out to feed on leaves, and return to the tent to rest. Development is 2-3 weeks, and full-grown caterpillars leave the tentand wander in search of a place to pupate. Pupation occurs in silken cocoons, covered with a yellowish powder. There is one generation per year. This species is generally distributed throughout eastern USA and southern Canada. The preferred hosts are wild cherry and apple, but it also attacks shade trees and fruit trees. The tents are unsightly on ornamental trees, and full-grown caterpillars often wander on to the sides ofhouses and buildings, and become a nuisance.

The lackey, Malacosoma neustria Adult wing span is 3035 mm; the body is light brown. Wings are light brown with two pale brown stripes on the fore and hind wing. Full-grown caterpillars are about 50 mm long, and have a blue head and two black circles that look like eye-spots; the body is blue, with black, red, and orange stripes. Caterpillars live gregariously in a dense web on various trees; when full-grown, they move away to pupate and crawl on houses and buildings at this time. The pupa is dull black, with short reddish-brown hairs on the abdomen. It is enclosed in a double cocoon spun among leaves of the food plant. The pupal period is abouti4 days. This species occurs in England, Wales, and Ireland.

The Best Home Remedies For Head Lice

The Best Home Remedies For Head Lice

Discover The Best All Natural, Inexpensive Home Remedies For Treating and Preventing Head Lice No Matter How Severe The Case.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment