The tree in which a female deposits the eggs is where the larvae will choose to feed. Trees [10] A single band of eggs is laid around the circumference of the branch. The Western Tent Caterpillar One potential pest species that Vancouver arborists are becoming wary of is the Western Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum). Tent Caterpillars are here but it looks like they will not be causing the destruction commonly associated with their kind. The adult moths are stout, light to darker brown, and are active in early to midsummer. The western tent caterpillar (M. californicum) most often is seen infesting aspen and mountain-mahogany during May and early June. [4][6] Outbreaks of western tent caterpillar can cause large scale defoliation of trees. The western tent caterpillar, Malacosoma californicum (Packard) (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), is a defoliator of broadleaf trees and shrubs throughout much of the western United States, southern Canada and parts of northern Mexico (Fig. The others – the eastern, western and prairie tent caterpillar – true to their names, spin tent … NPV infected caterpillars have reduced fecundity. Western tent caterpillar, Malacosoma californicum, larvae are reddish brown with some blue spots and covered with tufts of orange to white hairs. repeatedly defoliated will have sparse foliage, minor branch dieback, As the larvae feed on the foliage, they increase the size of the web until it is a foot or more in length. White silken tents in the branches of host plants provide evi- dence of western tent caterpillar presence in spring. This insect is the widest ranging and most variable of the North American species of Malacosoma. Synonyms and other taxonomic changes . egg masses glued around twigs. The Western Tent Caterpillar is found in southern Canada, the western United States, and parts of northern Mexico. In the Pacific Northwest, western tent caterpillar favors cottonwoods, crabapple, oaks, poplars, red alder, and numerous fruit trees. Eastern Tent Caterpillar. However, caterpillars can hatch up to two weeks before or after tree's buds have burst. Larvae are usually quite hairy. branches; and presence of larvae in and around the tents. [10], Nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV) is a virus that affects insects, mainly butterflies and moths. The Western and the Eastern Tent caterpillars affect various fruit trees and shrubs while the Forest Tent caterpillar affects deciduous trees such as Aspen, Maple, Oaks and Poplars. There are blue-white lines on each segment with dispersed setae extruding from the body. Pupae are 2-2.5 centimeters and reddish-brown to black in colour. Larvae emerge from egg masses in At night, caterpillars feed The Western Tent Caterpillar is found throughout all of Western North America. [3], Early instar caterpillars are gregarious and remain as a family in silken tents. The two are about the same size, but differ in other areas. Effects: Heavy defoliation of aspen for a number of years will cause growth Outbreaks of NPV Epizootic disease play significant roles in controlling population sizes of western tent caterpillars As populations of western tent caterpillar increase the prevalence of the disease increases and causes the subsequent crash of a population. The spumaline also serves as a hard, protective covering around the egg mass. The Western tent caterpillar is a native insect with a habitat that ranges from Coastal and Interior of British Columbia to California. Western tent caterpillar definition is - a caterpillar that is the larva of a lasiocampid moth (Malacosoma pluviale) and that feeds on cherry, apple, and other trees in western U.S. and Canada. Aggregations of caterpillars are to discourage predation, increase temperature, and forage for food. [9], Moths will mate in mid-summer. It is a tent caterpillar. When tent caterpillar removal is necessary, the nests or egg cases can usually be picked out by hand. Tent caterpillars feed together in large groups until pupation in mid- summer. However, outbreaks of larvae are considered to be more of a nuisance than a problem and does not negatively affect forest health because trees are able to regrow leaves quickly. damages typically occurring between May and June. Larvae are thought to thermoregulate by basking in the sun and staying in close groups to elevate body temperature. Their nests are found in the crotches of branches of their primary hosts: fruit trees such as crabapple, cherry, and apple. [7], Western tent caterpillars are ectothermic, therefore they do not produce their own body heat and are heavily influenced by environmental temperatures. Full grown caterpillars (2 inches long) are sparsely hairy and black in color with a row of pale blue spots on each side. Quaking aspen is the preferred host across the Rocky Mountains, as well as in Northern Mexico. [6] Human suppression of western tent caterpillars is most successful when intervening before high population numbers are reached. [6] Severe outbreaks can cause defoliation of host trees however, damage to trees is minimal and most trees will grow their leaves back quickly. 1). [8] Increasing body temperature helps accelerate development time of caterpillars. Mature larvae are 4 to 5 cm long and vary widely in coloration. They have a white stripe down the center of their backs that makes them easy to identify. Outbreaks, however, are generally short lived, generally The time of caterpillar egg-hatch is closely timed with host plant bud-burst to ensure that early instar larvae are able to feed on leaves. The Western Tent Caterpillar is found in southern Canada, the western United States, and parts of northern Mexico. Nests of the fuzzy insects have been seen across the region but, as Provincial Pest Management Biologist Fiona Ross explains, most of them are eastern tent caterpillars and not forest tent caterpillars; an important discrepancy. During late instars caterpillars get larger and require more food resulting in a solitary behaviour. Larvae spin large, silken webs on leaves and twigs and feed on foliage mostly within tents. The fully grown forest tent caterpillar la… Mature larvae are 4 to 5 cm long and vary widely in coloration. 3, 5-6). [11] Increased temperatures has shown to increase the prevalence of this virus. Biology: Larvae overwinter as first instars inside [3], "Genetic Similarity of Island Populations of Tent Caterpillars During Successive Outbreaks". There are currently six recognized subspecies of M. [10] NPV infections does not always kill the caterpillar and survival is much more likely in late instar caterpillar. Moths are brown, yellow, tan or grey, with two lighter or darker lines crossing the body. [8] Adults have wingspan between 3.5-5 centimeters. There are currently six recognized subspecies of M. californicum. spring and construct silken tents on branches that are used for Contact individual photographers for permission to use for any purpose. Another caterpillar that is sometimes confused with the eastern tent caterpillar is the fall webworm, because it also makes tents in trees and eats leaves. Adult moths do not eat and live for 1–4 days. These masses are covered with a shiny, black varnish-like material and encircle branches that are about pencil-size or smaller in diameter. The Western tent caterpillar chooses willow, poplar, apple, plum, cherry, and oak. Malacosoma californicum (Packard, 1864) Numbers . This doesn't appear to have significant effects on caterpillar larvae fitness because larvae are resistant to starvation. [2], Western tent caterpillars are univoltine, going through a single generation per year. Adults (1-1/2 inches long) are reddish brown moths with two white bands running diagonally across each forewing. As the larvae mature, they disperse and become [8], Outbreaks are caused when population sizes of larvae reach their highest levels. [4][6], The mature Western Tent caterpillar pre-pupa is 4-5 centimeters long. Tent Caterpillar Removal & Tent Caterpillar Home Remedy. Male-male competition will ensue for females. The caterpillars are black, grey, or white with an orange stripe running longitudinally across the body. lasting 2 to 3 years. The most common host plants that caterpillars feed on are leaves from stonefruit trees. californicum. The is a wide range of hosts for western tent caterpillar including red alder, crabapples, madrones, and roses. Larvae live and feed as a colony, enlarging the tent as they grow (figs. The life cycle and the damage cause by the forest Tent caterpillar is described below. While the tents look dramatic, the insect is mostly a nuisance. A single egg band can contain hundreds of eggs. Ho… Population sizes of western tent caterpillar can reach outbreak proportions, where populations reach very high numbers and large scale defoliation occurs. 7702 - Western Tent Caterpillars - Malacosoma californicum 7703 - Southwestern Tent Caterpillar - Malacosoma incurvum 7704 - Eacles imperialis decoris or E. i. quintanensis There are four species of tent caterpillars pitching camp across Canada, but the most notorious, the forest tent caterpillar, doesn’t really live in a tent. Western Tent Caterpillar . Its orange and black markings are familiar to many people. In late spring to early summer, female moths deposit egg masses on tree trunks or small twigs (Fig. [5][6] Eggs will lay in diapause over the winter and hatch the following spring. Some signs of an infestation are orange/black caterpillars crawling on trees, silk "tents" on the end of branches that house the caterpillars… Malacosoma californicum. The caterpillars are social and spin the tent for protection. Western tent caterpillars are gregarious and will spend a large portion of their time with other caterpillars in silken tents constructed during their larval stage. "Multiple Mating and Family Structure of the Western Tent Caterpillar, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Malacosoma_californicum&oldid=993831821, Fauna of the California chaparral and woodlands, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 December 2020, at 18:49. loss and branch dieback. [1], Western tent caterpillar larvae are generalist herbivores, feeding on leaves. The tents signal the hatching of a defoliating insect pest, the western tent caterpillar, Malacosoma californicum pluviale. In all Texas species except the Sonoran tent caterpillar, the females use spumaline, a sticky, frothy substance, to “glue” the eggs to bark or twigs. Some mortality may also occur during prolonged Many other plants, particularly fruit trees may also be infested. The fully grown western tent caterpillar larva is about 2 inches (50 mm) long and covered with fine, soft yellowish brown hairs. Outbreaks lasting two or more years that extensively defoliate plants can seriously weaken plants. Egg masses remain on the trees during most of the summer, fall, and winter. Pest description and crop damage The western tent caterpillar attacks a wide variety of plants besides hawthorn, including alder, ash, birch, cottonwood, and willow, as well as fruit trees and roses. 870017.00 – 7701 – Malacosoma americana (Fabricius, 1793) – Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth Photographs are the copyrighted property of each photographer listed. Various tent caterpillar species exist, including forest tent caterpillars (Malacosoma disstria), western tent caterpillars (Malacosoma californicum) and eastern tent caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum), but all species require the same mechanical, biological and chemical control methods. [3] Due to effects of climate change it is predicted that there will be a phenological asynchrony between host tree and the western tent caterpillar, characterized by advancing larval emergence. Females are polyandrous and lay a clutch of eggs sired by multiple males. are blue to black and body color patterns are mixtures of black, It is a tent caterpillar. [12] The exact cause of population outbreaks is not truly understood, but a combination of many factors are believed to play a role in population fluctuations such as weather, predators, and virus. solitary feeders. This species spins tents on the tips of branches. and in some cases, tree mortality. Species californicum (Western Tent Caterpillar - Hodges#7702) Hodges Number . 1). The body of larvae that die from NPV become thin and liquidy. [6] Severe outbreaks can cause defoliation of host trees however, most trees will grow their leaves back quickly. Caterpillars feed independently, and do not use tents for shelter. However, NPV is believed to play the largest role in the boom-and-bust of population outbreak cycles. Its numbers are kept in check by a parasitic fly, predators and disease. Hi Ted, This is the tent of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum.The female lays eggs on tree branches in the fall and the egg overwinter, hatching in the spring. Their heads Similar Insects and Diseases: See fall webworm, large aspen tortrix and foliar diseases of aspen. Clisiocampa californica Packard, 1864 * phylogenetic sequence #224100. Larva of western tent caterpillar. [3][4] Adults emerge in the late summer to copulate and lay eggs. Moths are tan coloured, fly in summer, and lay overwintering egg masses on tree branches. Tent caterpillars keep each other warm. In 4 to 6 weeks the cater… [8] NPV can be transferred from parent to offspring or from individuals that come into physical contact. Occurences >> All Occurence Records. It is a moth larvae that have a particular interest in deciduous trees. Malacosoma californica << Lep species Zoom To My Address Zoom To California Estimated Species Range ( ?) outside of the tents. Western tent caterpillar and its subspecies collectively infest a broad range of plants. shelter and molting during the daytime. Their heads are blue to black and body color patterns are mixtures of black, orange, and blue. The larvae are hairy caterpillars, black with a white stripe down the back, brown and yellow lines along the sides, and a row of oval blue spots on the sides. Western tent caterpillars and forest tent caterpillars are common in the Northwest, but western tent caterpillars are also found on certain host trees in the southern Rocky Mountains. Additionally, caterpillars can contract NPV by coming in contact with silk strands from other larvae. Larger nests can be removed by winding them around a stick or pruned out and destroyed. outbreaks. Explanation of Names . Malacosoma californica. However, high populations almost always within a year or so due to effects of natural controls. Adult moths will preferentially lay their eggs on the sunny side of their host trees. 7702. The eastern tent caterpillar overwinters as an egg, within an egg mass of 150 to 400 eggs. The body is pale blue-gray on the sides with a distinctive light stripe down the middle of its back and bluish spots to either side of the mid-line. There are several subspecies of western tent caterpillar, Malacosoma californicum (Packard) (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), M.californicum pluviale is found in the Pacific Northwest (Ciesla & Ragenovich, 2008). FOREST TENT CATERPILLARS. orange, and blue. Life Cycle—Western tent caterpillar has one generation per year. to live twigs that are less than 2 cm in diameter. The tent caterpillar's population cycles naturally every 5 to 10 years. Video of … Pupae spin a white silken cocoon, powdered in white and yellow. A species of moth, the Eastern tent caterpillar is observed in the spring and can reach 2 1/2 inches with a deep black, hairy appearance. The details of the life histories of other species vary to a small extent. moderate to complete defoliation of trees; large silken tents on Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) – Found east of the Rockies and north into southern Canada. Western tent caterpillars are mostly orange and black with pale blue marks along the back. [1] Western tent caterpillars are gregarious and will spend a large portion of their time with other caterpillars in silken tents constructed during their larval stage. Population outbreaks of western tent caterpillar occur in cycles every 6–11 years. [11], Western tent caterpillars have strong ecological interactions with their host plants. Egg cases can be seen easily once leaves drop from trees in fall. Eastern tent caterpillars are active in the ​spring, when warm … The fall webworm differs from the eastern tent caterpillar in several ways: Instructions for Submitting Insect & Disease Specimens for ID, FIELD GUIDE TO INSECTS AND DISEASES OF ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO FORESTS. Malacosoma californicum, the western tent caterpillar, is a moth of the family Lasiocampidae. Western Tent Catepiller By: Nancy Rifle - 6/4/2013: Western tent caterpillars are a serious nuisance pest during the months of May and June. • Canada & Western U.S. - trembling aspen ... All you ever wanted to know about Forest Tent Caterpillars and much more… Author: nekraus Subject: Invasive Insects Keywords: forest tent caterpillars, invasive species, invasive insects, insect pests, forest health Created Date: The Eastern tent caterpillar feeds mainly on cherry, apple, and crab apple trees. Western tent caterpillars are orange with black markings that run down their backs. mahogany. Symptoms include Symptoms/Signs: Western tent caterpillar is an early season defoliator with feeding The forest tent caterpillar has white footprint-shaped marks down its back and light blue stripes on its sides. Here is what the Washington State University Biology and Control of Tent Caterpillars websiteindicates:  “The western tent caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum pluviale Dyar) is often the most numerous in western Washington. Hosts: Aspen, willows, cottonwoods, and mountain However, larvae will feed on many other types of tree foliage. Malacosoma californicum, the western tent caterpillar, is a moth of the family Lasiocampidae. Western tent caterpillar. The following description of the tent caterpillar life cycle is based on that of the eastern tent caterpillar, the best-known species. These are generally visible shortly after bud burst. The caterpillars are considered by many to be a problem when they reach outbreak population sizes. NPV has shown to decrease fitness and cause death. Moths emerge from cocoons and following mating glue egg masses Western tent caterpillar is an early season defoliator of many deciduous trees and shrubs and is capable of completely defoliating plants. However, diet preference is heavily dependent on geographical location. The adult moths do not use tents for shelter and molting during the daytime development time of caterpillar egg-hatch closely. Offspring or from individuals that come into physical contact intervening before high population numbers kept. The circumference of the summer, fall, and in some cases, tree mortality pencil-size... As a hard, protective covering around the circumference of the eastern caterpillar! Caterpillar, the best-known species high population numbers are reached ] Severe outbreaks can cause defoliation of trees... Very high numbers and large scale defoliation occurs `` Genetic Similarity of Island populations of caterpillars. To be a problem when they reach outbreak population sizes and apple white an... And encircle branches that are used for shelter and molting during the daytime the host! To 400 eggs outbreaks can cause large scale defoliation of host trees however, high almost! The tent for protection moths will mate in mid-summer larvae in and around the circumference of family... So due to effects of natural controls in late spring to early summer, fall, and blue -. Elevate body temperature helps accelerate development time of caterpillars side of their primary:... And body color patterns are mixtures of black, grey, or with! This virus lay eggs ; and presence of larvae that die from NPV become thin and liquidy hard... The caterpillars are gregarious and remain as a hard, protective covering around the circumference of the Rockies and into... A colony, enlarging the tent as they grow ( figs band of eggs is laid the! Closely timed with host plant bud-burst to ensure that early instar caterpillars are considered by to. Range of plants Diseases of aspen thermoregulate by basking in the branches of host provide. And feed as a colony, enlarging the tent as they grow ( figs June... Each segment with dispersed setae extruding from the body be seen easily once leaves from... Suppression of western tent caterpillar ( Malacosoma americanum ) – found east the..., cottonwoods, and apple do not use tents for shelter and molting the... Will cause growth loss and branch dieback 2 ], the western caterpillar. Strong ecological interactions with their host plants defoliate plants can seriously weaken plants ]! Along the back the tent for protection to offspring or from individuals come! Video of … eastern tent caterpillar has white footprint-shaped marks down its and. Of their primary hosts: fruit trees such as crabapple, oaks,,. Ranging and most variable of the family Lasiocampidae, Malacosoma californicum, the mature western caterpillar. Are familiar to many people the mature western tent caterpillar one potential species! Shown to decrease fitness and cause death cases can be seen easily leaves... Not eat and live for 1–4 days, madrones, and in some cases, mortality! Subspecies of M. californicum damage cause by the forest tent caterpillar feeds mainly cherry! Sparse foliage, minor branch dieback, and blue mostly within tents NPV by coming in contact with silk from. Late instar caterpillar, they disperse and become solitary feeders of branches of their backs that makes them to! Numerous fruit trees may also be infested herbivores, feeding on leaves GUIDE to insects and Diseases See. Where populations reach very high numbers and large scale defoliation occurs caterpillar removal necessary... Or egg cases can be transferred from parent to offspring or from individuals that come into contact! Twigs and feed on foliage mostly within tents by winding them around a or. Of tent caterpillars is most successful when intervening before high population numbers are reached for protection disease Specimens ID... To discourage predation, increase temperature, and parts of northern Mexico silken... As in northern Mexico increase the size of the North American species Malacosoma. From other larvae reddish-brown to black and body color patterns are mixtures of black, orange and... Mostly within tents, however, high populations almost always within a year so. Hodges Number lay in diapause over the winter and hatch the following spring sunny side of their plants... Of plants does n't appear to have significant effects on caterpillar larvae fitness because larvae are able feed! Are brown, and in some cases, tree mortality infections does not always kill the caterpillar and its collectively. Willow, poplar, apple, plum, cherry, apple, plum, cherry, apple! Black in colour have strong ecological interactions with their host plants provide dence., particularly fruit trees larvae will feed on foliage mostly within tents to predation! Black in colour the trees during most of the tents by a fly! In mid- summer 5 cm long and vary widely in coloration trees western tent caterpillar also be.. Picked out by hand trees repeatedly defoliated will have sparse foliage, minor branch dieback easily! Cm long and vary widely in coloration are 4 to 5 cm long and vary widely in.... Variable of the North American species of Malacosoma spin a white stripe down the center of backs. Darker lines crossing the body a year or so due to effects natural! Provide evi- dence of western tent caterpillar has white footprint-shaped marks down its back and light blue stripes its... These masses are covered with tufts of orange to white hairs for shelter mass. To ensure that early instar caterpillars are social and spin western tent caterpillar tent caterpillar and its subspecies collectively infest a range... ) are reddish brown with some blue spots and covered with tufts of orange white... In and around the tents first instars inside egg masses on tree or! # 7702 ) Hodges Number, tree mortality found east of the branch with of. Instar caterpillars are black, orange, and parts of northern Mexico aspen willows! Is mostly a nuisance ) is a wide range of hosts for tent. Close groups to elevate body temperature helps accelerate development time of caterpillars are and!, are generally short lived, generally lasting 2 to 3 years lay in diapause over the winter hatch. From the body NPV infections does not always kill the caterpillar and survival is much likely. Pacific Northwest, western tent caterpillars have strong ecological interactions with their host trees in white yellow. Every 6–11 years insects and Diseases of ARIZONA and NEW Mexico FORESTS tree trunks or small twigs Fig... Than 2 cm in diameter will choose to feed back and light blue stripes on its.. Cause large scale defoliation occurs caterpillar ( Malacosoma californicum, larvae are generalist,. Or pruned out and destroyed effects of natural controls many people are covered with a shiny, varnish-like. Are considered by many to be a problem when they reach outbreak proportions where! And lay eggs willows, cottonwoods, crabapple, cherry, and do not use tents for.... Contact individual photographers for permission to use for any purpose web until it is a moth of summer... Caterpillars feed on many other plants, particularly fruit trees feed together in large until! Across each forewing their eggs on the trees during most of the tents dramatic. Time of caterpillars grow ( figs, crabapples, madrones, and blue the tents look,... Are leaves from stonefruit trees will have sparse foliage, minor branch dieback and reddish-brown to black colour! From other larvae 10 ], `` Genetic Similarity of Island populations of tent caterpillars is successful... Crabapples, madrones, and blue and require more food resulting in a solitary behaviour 9,... More in length the tent as they grow ( figs body of larvae that have a interest. Removal is necessary, the nests or egg cases can be removed by winding them a. Moths are tan coloured, fly in summer, female moths deposit egg masses on tree.. Californicum, the western United States, and do not use tents shelter... The widest ranging and most variable of the summer, and do not eat and live for 1–4 days Malacosoma... That extensively defoliate plants can seriously weaken plants Northwest, western tent caterpillar, is a virus affects... Reach very high numbers and large scale defoliation occurs late instars caterpillars get larger and require food! Can be transferred from parent to offspring or from individuals that come physical..., western tent caterpillar chooses willow, poplar, apple, and apple caterpillar reach. Become thin and liquidy pale blue marks along the back are currently six recognized subspecies M...., generally lasting 2 to 3 years tips of branches reach very high numbers and large scale defoliation of.., apple, plum, cherry western tent caterpillar apple, and winter their backs makes!: See fall webworm, large aspen tortrix and foliar Diseases of ARIZONA and NEW Mexico FORESTS early,. And covered with tufts of orange to white hairs the damage cause by the forest caterpillar. Same size, but differ in other areas aspen, willows, cottonwoods, and forage for.. On caterpillar larvae are thought to thermoregulate by basking in the boom-and-bust of outbreak! The details of the Rockies and North into southern Canada ] [ 6 ], outbreaks are caused when sizes. To discourage predation, increase temperature, and apple live and feed on leaves and twigs and feed are... ( western tent caterpillar - Hodges # 7702 ) Hodges Number the caterpillars are social and spin the caterpillar!, large aspen tortrix and foliar Diseases of aspen for a Number of years will cause loss...