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Alphabetical List of Critters - Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Eastern Tent Caterpillars feed on apple, peach, plum, crabapple and cherry trees and build distinctive nests in the forks of the branches. They have a solid whitish line down the center of their back and a somewhat orange-colored stripe on their sides. Eggs are deposited around small branches in late June, typically. The eggs overwinter, and then hatching occurs as buds begin to swell and open. The young caterpillars feed on the new buds, and the nests are apparent by late May.  As the larvae grow they begin to feed on leaves, and as the population increases, it is not uncommon for trees and forests to be defoliated. The caterpillars mature in the first part of June, with adult moths appearing during the last part of the month, when egg-laying takes place. There is one generation per year.

Detailed Fact Sheet (includes Forest Caterpillars also): Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Additional Photos:

an EasternTentCaterpillar and an example of the communal nests they make in trees Eastern Tent Caterpillar - egg masses


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