Even more abundant this spring were the tent caterpillars. We found two species: forest and eastern. The forest tent caterpillar can be identified by the row of white “footprints” or “keyholes” on its back. Although it’s in the same genus as tent-building species, this one does not build a tent. Instead, it congregates in large masses of up to 100 individuals on tree trunks. It feeds on a great variety of woody plants, including birch, ash, blueberry, elm, maple, and oak.
The adult, often attracted to porch lights, has a pair of DARK stripes along each forewing (while the moth of the eastern tent caterpillar has two WHITE stripes).