Currently viewing the category: "Tent Caterpillars and Kin"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is the exactly
Location: Pretoria south africa
July 3, 2016 3:36 am
Found this caterpillar on the bricks by my house. If I’m not mistaken some kind of lappet moth
Signature: Peter

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Peter,
We agree that this is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, and there is a matching image on iSpot, but it is only identified to the family level.  It appears like it might be the same species or a closely related species to this Indian Lappet Moth Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Caterpillar
Location: Around Puyo, Ecuador
June 30, 2016 3:54 pm
Found at Fundacion Los Monos y Selva Vida near Puyo, Ecuador on June 26.
After searching many times using various keywords to describe the caterpillar I came up short. I found a stock photo with a similar one that I have in my picture, however, they do not supply a species and only say “A caterpillar perched on a branch in the Tandayapa Valley of Ecuador.”
What kind of butterfly or moth do you think it will turn into?
Signature: Ryan

Possibly a Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Possibly a Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Ryan,
This reminds us of a Lappet Moth Caterpillar from the family Lasiocampidae, but we have not had any luck matching your image to any identified species.  Interestingly, while searching, we also found the “caterpillar perched on a branch in the Tandayapa Valley of Ecuador” you mentioned.  Once again, we would refer you to Cesar Crash at Insetologia as he can search the internet in Portuguese and possibly Spanish.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of (caterpillar)?
Location: Hong Kong
May 22, 2016 7:24 am
We saw this in Hong Kong on 22 May 2016 in the woodland area by a reservoir. It looked like a caterpillar to us but we could not be sure with the strange patterned head and ‘horns’. Any insight as to what bug this may be and if it is poisonous would be very much appreciated!
Signature: Tai Tam

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Tai Tam,
This is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae.  We found some matching images from China of Caterpillars in the genus
Trabala on FlickR.  Here is another FlickR image.  Some Lappet Moth Caterpillars have urticating or stinging hairs that can cause a skin reaction in sensitive people.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Brown striped caterpiller
Location: SW Ohio
May 9, 2016 6:48 am
I live near Dayton, OH, and found this caterpiller on my patio table. I have never seen one like this. Can you help ID it?
Thank you.
Signature: Jennifer

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Dear Jennifer,
This distinctive caterpillar is a Forest Tent Caterpillar,
Malacosoma disstria.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on leaves of alder, basswood, birch, cherry, oak, poplar, willow.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug Identity
Location: Palmer Tx
April 15, 2016 3:46 pm
These bugs are everywhere . I need to know what kind is it please?
Signature: Does not matter

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Forest Tent Caterpillar

This is a Forest Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria, a social species that often feeds in large groups.  Periodically, there are significant population explosions, and based on this submission of Forest Tent Caterpillars we received last week, this is one of those years in Texas.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth or caterpillar ?
Location: Lake Jackson Tx
April 3, 2016 2:34 pm
Spotted a very large batch of worms on a tree here on the Texas gulf coast,
Wondering as to what they are, moth, caterpillar or butterflies…. Just curious, thanks in advance!
Signature: Curious Rae

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Forest Tent Caterpillars

Dear Curious Rae,
Your image of a group of Eastern Tent Caterpillars as well as a marvelous close-up of an individual are an excellent addition to our archives.  Folks wanting to make identifications can view documentation of both details of the individual and the group aggregating behavior for the species.  You can find out some wonderful information on the Eastern Tent Caterpillar on the State University of New York at Cortland site devoted to Social Caterpillars maintained by Terrence D. Fitzgerald where it states:  “In terms of complexity of interactions, eastern tent caterpillars stand near the pinnacle of caterpillar sociality. The adult moth lays her eggs in a single batch in late spring or early summer.  Oviposition is limited to cherry, apple and a few other rosaceous trees.  The egg masses contain on average 200-300 eggs. mothEmbryogenesis proceeds rapidly and within three weeks fully formed caterpillars can be found within the eggs. But the small caterpillars lie quiescent  until the following spring, chewing their way through the shells of their eggs just as the buds of the host tree begins to expand.first tent  The newly hatched caterpillars initiate the construction of a silk tent soon after emerging.  The caterpillars typically aggregate at the tent site for the whole of their larval life, expanding the tent each day to accommodate their increasing size. Under field conditions, the caterpillars feed three times each day, just before dawn, in the evening after sunset, and at mid afternoon. During each bout of feeding the caterpillars emerge from the tent, add silk to the structure, move to distant feeding sites en masse, feed, then return immediately to the tent where they rest until the next activity period. The exception to this pattern occurs in the last instar when the caterpillars feed only at night. The caterpillars lay down pheromone trails to guide their movements between the tent and feeding sites. The insect has six larval instars.  When fully grown, the caterpillars disperse and construct cocoons in protected places.  The adults emerge about two weeks later.  Mating and oviposition typically occur on the same day as the moths emerge from their cocoons and being completely spent the females die soon thereafter.”

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Update:  April 5, 2016
Thanks to a comment from Ben, we agree that this is a Forest Tent Caterpillar,
Malacosoma disstria, a different species in the same genus.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae: dark-gray to brownish-black background body color, highlighted by broad, pale-blue lines and thin, broken yellow lines extending along each side” and “Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) has an unbroken cream/white line along its back, and a dark face.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination