Location: Nashville, Tennessee
April 17, 2012 11:29 pm
What kind of caterpillar is this? I found him in my backyard a couple of weeks ago crawling on some mulch.
This beautiful caterpillar is a Forest Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria. According to BugGuide, there is: “One generation per year; larvae spin silken mats on tree trunks and large branches where they congregate to molt or rest from feeding; larvae also deposit silk in strands along which they travel to and from feeding sites; overwinters as larva in masses surrounding tree branches. (Unlike Eastern Tent Caterpillar, this species does not form silken tents.)”