Spring- A Wake Up Call
East Texas- The Eastern tent caterpillar will soon be waking up in East Texas. After a long winter spent as a hard mass of eggs wrapped around a twig, the larva will hatch just as the earth is beginning to turn green and the heavy buds are turning into flowers. The caterpillars form a dense silk web in the crotch of small limbs, that will expand as they grow and be their refuge at night and during rainy spells as they begin their journey of change.
The brightly colored caterpillars will stray from their tent to feed on the lush green leaves, and may migrate and wander before they pupate in a cocoon to emerge as a yellowish-brown adult tent caterpillar moth. There will soon be masses of moths drawn to porch lights, and swarming around commercial lights in parking lots in East Texas. However, the metamorphosis party will not last long, only a couple of days in fact, because the life of a tent caterpillar moth is short lived. Their work on earth will be done by May or June. The entire generation will pass from us for a year, and the cycle will begin again next spring.