Tent caterpillars are moderately sized caterpillars, or moth larvae, belonging to the genus Malacosoma in the family Lasiocampidae. They are often considering pests due to their habit of defoliating trees. They are among the most social of all caterpillar and exhibit many noteworthy behaviors.
Tent caterpillars are readily recognized because they are social, colorful, diurnal and conspicuous silk tents in the branches of host trees. Tent caterpillars live in groups within a silken tent. Eastern Tent caterpillars are active in the spring when warm weather hasn’t quite taken hold. Many insects use chemical markers to communicate. Eastern tent caterpillars leave pheromone trails to signal their siblings, and they do so in a fairly sophisticated way. They use different pheromones to mark exploratory trails and requirement trails.