Currently viewing the category: "Tent Caterpillars and Kin"
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Subject: Caterpillar identification
Location: Fort Worth, TX
April 18, 2015 3:19 pm
Hi –
Any chance that you can tell me what kind of caterpillar this is? I have two young girls that are very curious about it.
Signature: Not sure what this means…

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Your caterpillar is a Forest Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Under the motorhome
Location: East Texas
April 4, 2015 6:31 pm
We just spent the past five months in an RV park near Miami FL. On the way home to CA, we stopped in Livingston TX. We were here for a week when this afternoon I found this infestation of caterpillars around the front of the RV and no where else in the area.
My questions:
What are they?
Did I bring them from FL to TX?
Is this a problem?
Signature: Frank Liberty

Forest Tent Caterpillars

Forest Tent Caterpillars

Dear Frank,
These are Forest Tent Caterpillars,
Malacosoma disstria, which we quickly identified on BugGuide, and while we cannot say for certain that you did not transport them from Florida to Texas, we believe it is highly unlikely.  According to BugGuide, they are found in both Florida and Texas, and they can be distinguished from other Tent Caterpillars based on this BugGuide description:  “Larvae: dark-gray to brownish-black background body color, highlighted by broad, pale-blue lines and thin, broken yellow lines extending along each side; dorsum of each abdominal segment has distinct whitish keyhole or shoeprint-shaped marking; body has fine, whitish, and sparsely distributed hairs.”

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar Infestation
Location: Regina, SK, Canada
July 4, 2014 11:04 am
I thought you might enjoy these pictures of a caterpillar infestation on tree trunks in Regina, SK, Canada. I was told by a local that they call these canker worms. There were about 10 trees all in a row and every tree trunk had these caterpillars on them in these large groups. Interestingly, I didn’t see a lot of foliage damage on the trees themselves, so I was wondering if they were somehow feeding on sap? The photos were taken in June. Thanks for your website. I love it.
Signature: Steven Sluder

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Hi Steven,
In May, we posted a letter with images from Maryland of a large aggregation of Eastern Tent Caterpillars,
Malacosoma americana, and they do feed on leaves.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on leaves of many trees and shrubs but particularly members of the rose family such as apple, cherry, and crabapple.”

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Caterpillar
Location: North east coast of South Africa
June 9, 2014 4:10 am
We found this guy eating on the tree and then began spinning a cocoon around himself. Amazingly the next morning the cocoon was complete with the hairs from the caterpillar embedded into the surface.
Signature: Brian

Toothed Cream Spot Eggar Caterpillar

Toothed Cream Spot Eggar Caterpillar

Hi Brian,
We believe this is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, and we did find what appears to be a matching image on iSpot that is identified as a Toothed Cream Spot Eggar,
Catalebeda cuneilinea, but we have not been able to locate any other images online to verify that identification.

Toothed Cream Spot Eggar Caterpillar

Toothed Cream Spot Eggar Caterpillar

Cocoon of a Toothed Cream Spot Eggar

Cocoon of a Toothed Cream Spot Eggar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Gypsy Moth?
Location: Middletown, MD
May 11, 2014 2:32 pm
Hello again! Today we have been inundated by a huge number of these caterpillars on and around our house. We are in Frederick Co, MD. I was hoping you might be able to identify them for me :-).
Signature: Thank you!! Chadrenne

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Dear Chadrenne,
This is an Eastern Tent Caterpillar,
Malacosoma americana, and according to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on leaves of many trees and shrubs but particularly members of the rose family such as apple, cherry, and crabapple.”  According to the Clemson University website:  “Eastern tent caterpillars typically feed during the day time and return to the nest at evening. They may remain in the nest during bad weather. These caterpillars are aggressive feeders and may strip a tree or major branches of all foliage. If the trees are otherwise healthy, the trees will normally produce new leaves. However, overall growth may be retarded due to the defoliation. This damage may significantly stress trees after three or four years of leaf loss.”  In the past week, we have received reports of large numbers of Caterpillar Hunters known as Fiery Searchers from both nearby Virginia and Missouri, and in one instance we responded by stating:  “Perhaps populations are peaking this year because there is a significantly larger proportion of prey, namely caterpillars and other insects.”  Your report of large numbers of Eastern Tent Caterpillars, a favorite prey of the Fiery Searchers, might explain the large population of the predators.

Update:  May 18, 2014
Subject: Tent Caterpillar Update
Location: Middletown, MD
May 18, 2014 9:13 am
I took this today on our Bradford Pear tree…
Signature: Chadrenne

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Hi Chadrenne,
Thanks so much for the update.  The image of the individual you sent last week is a perfect image to identify the species, but your aggregation images are much more typical of the social behavior of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar.  Since we suspect this year might bring significant populations of Eastern Tent Caterpillars, we are featuring your posting.

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this other than a giant scary horned caterpillar
Location: Perth Western Australia
April 24, 2014 3:31 am
Hi! Hoping you can help me out. Saw this creature/monster crawling across my lawn late this afternoon. Its the second one we’ve seen and we’re really curious as to what it will be! It was about 3 inches long (maybe slightly more) and slightly furry looking. Almost like felt. The pics make it look purple but it was more of a beige colour with a bit of red/tan. And those horns!!! Any ideas?
Signature: Nicole

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Hi Nicole,
We struggled a bit on this identification, but we eventually found some images of your Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar,
Entometa fervens, on the Butterfly House website where it states:  “This is a large fleshy Caterpillar with soft downy hairs. It is sometimes smooth, sometimes rough, sometimes brown, and sometimes mottled with cream and grey. The variable nature of the caterpillars suggests that the name Entometa fervens is being applied to a complex of several species. More investigation is needed to clarify this.  The caterpillar has a prominent projection on the back near the posterior end, and a pair of fleshy filaments behind the head. It is solitary, and feeds at night on a variety of Gum Trees.”  The image on the Queensland Museum site through us off as it looks so different from your images.  It is also pictured on the Brisbane Insect website.

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for taking the time to identify this. Not knowing was killing me J
I have never heard of one of those and have never ever seen anything like this beauty before.
Thanks again for the wonderfully prompt service.
Kindest regards
Nicole J

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination