and confirmation—Tent caterpillar
There are several species of tent caterpillars, which belong
to the family Lasiocampidae.
Western tent caterpillar, Malacosoma
californicum, larvae are reddish brown with some blue
spots and are covered with tufts of orange to white hairs.
They spin large silken webs in which the larvae do most
of the feeding.
The Pacific tent caterpillar, M. constrictum, looks
very similar to M. californicum, except
more blue is visible and the larvae usually feed only on
oaks. Pacific tent caterpillars produce small tents a few
inches wide. Larvae feed openly in groups when they are young
and usually enter the tent only to molt.
The forest tent caterpillar, M. disstria, occurs
throughout the U.S. Larvae are mostly dark blue, with wavy
reddish brown lines and distinct white, keyhole-shaped markings
down the back. Larvae feed in groups without making any webbing.
tent caterpillar larva
feeding of tent caterpillars