Beautiful is caterpillar

Remember the other day when I found a green caterpillar on one of my roses while looking at rose slugs? Well, this must be the year for caterpillars on roses, because I found another one.


This one is quite different, and was found on a different rose. Are there more caterpillars this year, or have I just never noticed them on my roses before?

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This one is a beauty, but it's probably not a welcome sight.



This is a species of tent caterpillar, the forest tent caterpillar eastern tent caterpillar. Tent caterpillar outbreaks can severely defoliate trees. (Plus they're creepy as heck, a wriggling mass of wormy creatures.)


This one though, I just want to look at...


It's a fifth instar caterpillar, which means it's just about ready to spin a cocoon.



It's hypnotic up close, isn't it?  I wish I could have gotten even closer shots.

I've only seen a couple of these around the yard, and haven't noticed any problems. Therefore I didn't panic or do anything drastic -- I just let this guy be.

Have you seen any interesting caterpillars yet?

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John  – (May 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM)  

I saw the same type Sunday, I have never seen them before and I have grown roses for many years.

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (May 21, 2013 at 3:30 PM)  

Your photos are fantastic but I'm not fond of caterpillars, worms and other creepy crawly things. I give them a wide berth, and I hope they extend me the same courtesy :-).

Lucy –   – (May 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM)  

I'm pretty sure this is an eastern tent caterpillar - the straight white line down the back is an identifier - where a forest tent caterpillar has a more foot-shpaed pattern. Very similar but slight difference in species preference and habitat range.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_tent_caterpillar)

Alan  – (May 25, 2013 at 7:22 AM)  

Lucy: you're right! I was looking at a website that showed both types, decided it was an eastern tent, and wrote the wrong one! Thanks for pointing this out -- I'll edit the post.

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