Forest Tent Caterpillar

Ed. Note: Please use our official submission form for every photo sent to our website.  The form has the disclaimer about our right to publish your letters and images.  We learned about 8 hours after this image was published that it was not submitted by the photographer.  Since we have no entomologists on staff, many of the images we receive need to be researched.  We are very reluctant to spend valuable time researching the identity of creatures that we will not be able to publish photos of on our site.  We have countless images available to the web browsing public because so many of our readers now have access to wonderful cameras (and cellular telephones that take pretty good photos as well) and we are thrilled to be able to compile them in a haphazardly organized fashion in our voluminous archives.  Though our writing staff tries its best to be bright, witty and charming, we realize that most web browsers want nice images to accompany the information they are trying to research.

Vermont caterpillar??
Hi Daniel,
Wondering if you can tell me what this caterpillar will turn into!!
Thanks, KT
PS…. I had 3 Luna Moths visit me this week, and got some really good pix. Let me know if you’d like any….

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Dear KT,
This is a Forest Tent Caterpillar,
Malacosoma disstria, and it is found throughout North America including Canada, but it is more common east of the Mississippi River according to BugGuide, where the life cycle is described as:  “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.)”.We have no shortage of Luna Moths this year, and we are much happier to have received this particular photo because we promote the diversity of insect life on our website.

Hi again, Daniel,
I was thinking more about the photo, and I can’t imagine my friend will mind that it’s on your site. I took it from her Facebook page, so in a sense, it’s already “public”. I did write to her and sent her your reply to my question. I’m sure she’ll be happy to have the identification.
Go ahead and leave it up on your site, but can you please give photo credit to Jane A. Lindholm? That would be great. I’ll write again if there are any objections on her part.

Hey Daniel,
Just wanted to let you know that Jane wrote to me from Wales. She’s totally fine with her photo being on your site, and was thrilled to DISCOVER your site and to find out what that caterpillar is.
All’s good!
Cool photo of a Cecropia moth my friend Joanne took tonight here in SE Vermont! If by any chance you want to use it, I’ll have her submit it the correct way!

UPDATE:  August 18, 2011
Use of pic for Illinois FFA Forestry contest
August 18, 2011 2:26 pm
Dear Whats That Bug, I am looking for permission to use a few images for use in a FFA forestry contest. The image would be printed once, laminated and used for the contest and for educational purposes only. The pics that I would like to use are at the following url.
Date of the contest is September 20, 2011.
Since the site made me place a pic in the image place, I did! Some sort of flocked insect taken last year while pruning a walnut plantation.
Thank you,
Jim Kirkland
Interim Director
University of Illinois
Illinois Forest Resource Center
[email protected]
Signature: Jim Kirkland

Mating Periodical Cicadas

Dear Jim Kirkland,
Please explain how the photo will be used.  It obviously cannot be entered in the contest by anyone but Jane who took the photo.  The photo you attached depicts mating Periodical Cicadas.

Dear Daniel,
The photo (wp-content/uploads/2011/06/forest_tent_caterpillar_kt.jpg ) would be printed on a  letter sized piece of paper, laminated and used as one of ten questions on a high school FFA forestry contest.  The portion of the test is titled Tree/Forest Disorders, the national FFA (Future Farmers of America) organization is the organizer of this event.   The students would have to identify the insect pest out of a list.  I was not looking to get my mating cicadas identified.  The web interface that your site uses would not let me send the question without downloading something.  However, how about checking out the flocked insect I have loaded up today.
Thank you,
Jim Kirkland
University of Illinois
Illinois Forest Resource Center

You have our permission to use the image of that purpose.  Here is a higher resolution file.


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