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These caterpillars hatch in early spring and spin their silken tents in the forks of tree branches. The tent protects them from predators and from extreme temperatures. The caterpillars only leave the tent to feed. They are most commonly found on apple, cherry, pecan, beech, and willow trees. If abundant, caterpillars can eat all of the leaves on a tree - although they seldom kill a tree. Full grown Eastern Tent Caterpillars are about 2 inches long. They have a black body with a white stripe along the middle of their back and a row of blue spots on each side.
I spotted this tent next to a nature trail in a mixed forest at Boyd Audubon.
Spotted on May 7, 2016
Submitted on May 12, 2016