Tent caterpillars are moderately sized species in the genus (Malacosoma) in the moth family Lasiocampidae. Species occur in North America, Mexico, and Eurasia. Twenty-six species have been described, six of which occur in North America. Some species are considered to have subspecies as well. Although most people consider tent caterpillars only as pests due to their habit of defoliating trees, they are among the most social of all caterpillars and exhibit many noteworthy behaviors. Tent caterpillars are readily recognized because they are social, colorful, diurnal and build conspicuous silk tents in the branches of host trees.
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