Image Number: 1150084

The forest tent caterpillar occurs throughout the eastern United States and is a defoliator of a wide variety of hardwood trees. This is the tent caterpillar that does not make a tent! There is one generation per year and the insect overwinters in the egg stage. An unusual outbreak of the forest tent caterpillar occurred in East Texas in the spring of 2002 where some 125,000 acres of bottomland mixed hardwood forest were moderately defoliated. Because they do not defoliate all the trees in mixed deciduous stands, light defoliation may be difficult to see from the air. Moderate defoliation shows up from the air as a gray-green color.
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Image location:
United States


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Atelocerata
Class: Hexapoda (including Insecta)
Infraclass: Neoptera
Subclass: Pterygota
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Lasiocampoidea
Family: Lasiocampidae
Subfamily: Malacosominae
Tribe: Malacosomini
Genus: Malacosoma
Subject: Malacosoma disstria Hübner
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Image uploaded:
Wednesday, August 7, 2002
Image last updated:
Thursday, August 8, 2002