Different Points of View (Eastern Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma americana)

dark almost featureless head fringed at sides and top with long wavy bright hairs

Head of an Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americana).

Typically, tent caterpillars, much like gypsy moth caterpillars, are known mainly because of their capacity to be destructive pests. When they’re “bad,” they’re bad, and when they’re “good,” we probably didn’t know they were there to begin with. (Kind of like politicians and referees.) But aesthetically, if we can put aside their reputations for a moment, they are quite striking creatures. (Two more shots below, including a full body view of what was a fairly large caterpillar.)

blue and black eyespots on dorsally-white-lined body with reddish brown hairs at lower edge of body

Detail of eyespots on the side of an Eastern Tent caterpillar (Malacosoma americana).

blue caterpillar with dark spots along its side and fuzzy long hairs along its lower fringe

Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americana) on a leaf.

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