Monday, April 18, 2016

Tent caterpillars

While taking my morning walk the last couple of days I have been observing web like formations on the crotches of several trees. Today I stopped to take a closer look at one of them- I'm not sure what I expected to find, but it was certainly not what seemed like a hundred crawling worms. I took a picture and now after some searching on the web believe these to be tent caterpillars. Apparently the eggs are laid in late spring / summer , the caterpillars develop within the eggs in a few weeks but lie quiescent until the following spring when they emerge out of the eggs and start making these webs together. They stay within the webs most of the time, emerging at periodic intervals to feed. During the early stages this happens before dawn, mid afternoon and after sunset. When I saw them in the morning most of them were within the tent. There were a couple that were moving around on the outside. 
I am not one to get all creeped out when I see a worm but the sight of these hundred or more caterpillars falling on top of each other and crawling all over was a bit too much for even me to stomach. Nevertheless I am going to keep a watch on these to see when they turn into moths.
Stay tuned!

No comments: