Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth

Malacosoma disstria - Forest Tent Caterpillar Moth - 006028

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The forest tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma disstria) is a North American moth found throughout the United States andCanada, especially in the eastern regions.

The larvae of this species are notorious tent caterpillars. Tent caterpillars do not make tents, but rather, weave a silky sheet where they lie together during molting. They lay down strands of silk as they move over branches and then travel along them like tightrope walkers. They follow pheromones secreted by other larvae rather than following the silk lines themselves. The caterpillars are social, traveling together to feed. The caterpillars live in deciduous trees, which they strip off leaves after emerging from their eggs. The adult moth of this species favors oak, sweetgum, tupelo, aspen, and sugar maple foroviposition, but the larvae can be found feeding on many other species of woody trees or shrubs. The females lay eggs in masses of up to 300, which are stuck to twigs and covered with a gluey cement called spumaline, which prevents them fromdesiccating and freezing. The eggs hatch the following winter. source

 

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