Tent caterpillars are a type of moth in the in the Malacosoma genus and Lasiocampidae family of species. Twenty-six different tent-caterpillar species have been found and identified in North America, Mexico, and Eurasia. Six types of tent caterpillar species have been found in North America. Tent caterpillars are for the most part, harmless, however certain species of tent caterpillars can devastate and defoliate trees which can be frustrating to homeowners.
Tent caterpillars can be easily recognized because they are colorful, tend to group together and build noticeable silk tents in trees and around tree branches. The eastern tent caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum, build large silk tent which are occupied through entire larval stage. Others tent caterpillars build a multiple silk tents which are only used temporarily before moving onto another. The forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria, spin silk mats rather than build tents.
Tent caterpillars are sometimes mistaken for Fall webworms because they weave silk webs on leaves and branches that can look similar to the silk tents that tent caterpillars build.
Tent caterpillars are one of the most prominent species of caterpillars in the entire planet and have derived their name from their habitual behavior of weaving tents to accommodate themselves while they undergo the transition from being larvae to adult moths. If you are interested in finding out more on these caterpillars, this article will be extremely beneficial for you.
The tent caterpillars happen to be one of the species of the genus Malacosoma. The tent caterpillars are mainly characterized by their moderate sizes. They belong to the Lasiocampidae moth family and one can come across this particular species in Eurasia, Mexico and North America.
So far, twenty six species of tent caterpillars have been found in various parts of the world. Six among these have been found in North America. What is more interesting, these species of the tent caterpillars are believed to have sub-species. However, the tent caterpillars are considered by the common people to be pests. The reason behind their being considered so is their habit of causing damage as well as defoliation of the trees.
The most interesting thing about the tent caterpillars is that they are the most social among all the families of caterpillars. They are characterized by their exhibition of a number of noteworthy behaviors. They are diurnal as well as colorful. You would even be amazed to know that the tent caterpillars build silk tents on the branches of the trees.
There are a number of types of tent caterpillars. They are the Eastern tent caterpillars, the Western tent caterpillars and the forest caterpillars. Apart from these prominent varieties of tent caterpillars, some others include the Sonoran tent caterpillars, M. Incurvatum discoloratum, tiger moths fall webworm, etc.
The growth of the population of the tent caterpillars is simply amazing. They grow with a boom population. Among the various kinds if tent caterpillars, most notorious tent caterpillars in the matter of outbreak of population are the forest tent caterpillars. Their outbreak of the forest tent caterpillars makes them so abundant in number that they have the ability of defoliating all the trees in an area of thousands of acres. There is no particular season for the outbreak of the tent caterpillars if you keep in mind the matter of outbreak at regular intervals. However, it has been found that the outbreaks occur at an interval of nearly ten years.
Although the tent caterpillars are known to have a dangerously huge growth of population, the fact remains that a huge number of caterpillars die before they are full grown. The reason behind this mass death of the tent caterpillars is that the trees are defoliated much before the caterpillars come to the stage of being full grown. If you think that the damage caused by tent caterpillars to the trees by defoliating them is unrecoverable, you cherish a wrong notion in your mind. As a matter of fact, the damage caused to the trees by the caterpillars is not ever lasting. They are capable of re-foliating after experiencing an attack by the caterpillar.
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