Within the past few weeks there have been many an Eastern Caterpillar rescued from “certain death” by some of the hundreds of children visiting the Museum on field trips from various schools throughout the state (out of state too). The caterpillars were coming down out of the trees to search for safe places to pupate, whether under a log, rock, or other protected and out of the way location. Hundreds of them were seen crossing the paths in both Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild. On one particularly busy day (for both caterpillars and children) it seemed as though every kid that walked by either had a caterpillar in their hand, or one crawling up their arm.
On April 23, I came across another species of tent caterpillar on a sapling hickory on the Dinosaur Trail.
Besides a different color pattern, Forest Tent Caterpillars overwinter as larvae, and do not weave silken tents in the crotches of trees as do the eastern variety of tent caterpillars. Eastern Tent Caterpillars overwinter as eggs on the host tree (usually Black Cherry), and build silken tents on the same tree.