Eastern Tent Caterpillar

We saw lots and lots of nests of these worms in the nooks of small trees at Bear Mountain NY. We didn’t notice them until the peaks which are around 1000 ft in altitude. They may have been at lower altitudes but we didn’t notice them there as much. Any idea what this insect is? We assumed it spins the nest so it’s maybe related to silk worms?

Hi Ted,
This is the tent of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum. The female lays eggs on tree branches in the fall and the egg overwinter, hatching in the spring. The caterpillars are social and spin the tent for protection.

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