Monday, April 26, 2010


Awesome Husband called me to the front porch, where an unknown caterpillar was crawling around on a blanket the dog had been relaxing on out near the woods.

"Oh dear, the poor thing!" I thought. "It will starve if I just leave it there. I'll photograph it and then put it on a tree in the backyard."  So, photographed and relocated. Then it just needed to be identified.

Using the excellent site Discover Life , I quickly found the mystery critter.

Hm... "forest tent caterpillar Malacosoma disstria "  Uh-oh. "...often defoliates large areas..." Oh dear.

Well, it's quite pretty, anyway.


  1. Whoopsie, LOL. Well, one caterpillar all by itself should be must have been separated from its siblings when your dog passed through. It takes a lot of them to do any significant damage, and it's pretty easy to clear up: just watch for the web-like "tents" with a bunch of the little guys crawling (and feeding) inside, clip the branch and dispose of it.

  2. I love your blog and happy to be a follower. As a child I loved caterpillars and still do to some degree. When I was little I remember my grandfather would wrap a rag soaked with gasoline around a pole and burn the critters down out of trees. Ive seen quite a few in trees, but like falltoclimb said, i just cut the limb down and move it further in the woods.

  3. Strange to see one by itself. They usually don't venture far from their friends. Must have hitchiked as falltoclimb said. Like fall webworms, I think most people I know go to great lengths to destroy the webs and caterpillars when they're found, but I've never seen them do permanent damage. And they're good for the friendly fly population. Besides, they're pretty little critters.

  4. You've got a handsome caterpillar there. I love that you would make the effort to find a safe place for a caterpillar - girl after my own heart.