tent caterpillar

4 ENTRIES FOUND:

tent caterpillar

noun

Definition of TENT CATERPILLAR

:  any of several social caterpillars (genus Malacosoma and especially M. americanum of the family Lasiocampidae) that form large silken webs on trees and may cause serious defoliation

First Known Use of TENT CATERPILLAR

1854

tent caterpillar

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any moth larva of the genus Malacosoma (family Lasiocampidae). Tent caterpillars are often brightly coloured. Congregations of the eastern tent caterpillar (M. americanum) of eastern North America spin huge, tent-shaped communal nests in forked tree branches. Eggs the moth deposits on a tree in midsummer hatch in spring. The hatched caterpillars migrate to a tree crotch and construct a silken tent, which they leave each day throughout the summer to feed on the surrounding leaves. The forest tent caterpillar (M. disstria) is common in the southern U.S.

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