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 <http://www.nonprofitpages.com/nica/SVE.htm> Field skills training for student naturalists Floriferous@msn.com
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