RE: tent caterpillars

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Well from an ecological standpoint they are hosts to a whole bunch of
predatory wasps who just love these guys. I once had a tent caterpillar nest
handy and as I looked at one of the caterpillars I noticed it had a parasite
egg on it. Then I noticed another, and another, then I got interested and
started surveying. In the midst of counting, (85 with, 12 without) a wasp
flew up and right before my eyes hovered and ovi-deposited an egg right on
the back of the caterpillar, all in about a seconds time. Up to that point I
had always imagined that the wasp stung the host, then ovi-deposited, and
learned differently that day.

Their frass is high in nitrogen as well.

Rob Sandelin
South Snohomish County at the headwaters of Ricci Creek
Sky Valley Environments  <>
Field skills training for student naturalists

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