Creepy Crawly Caterpillar
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This is a microcache located just off the trail. Very kid friendly. Very short walk to cache site.
This area is part of the Blackstone Canal tow path in Uxbridge. A place that the Solsam family spends a lot of time. Parking coordinates are N 42 04.869 W 071 37.258. It is a great place to bring the kids or dogs for a hike or picnic. Our boys had a blast picking the hiding place as well as naming the cache.
There are many eastern tent caterpillars in the area---you will see numerous web-like silken tents in the trees along the path. They are often confused with gypsy moth caterpillars. The most helpful distinction between them is that gypsy moth caterpillars do not spin tents.
When you log this find please report which stage you find the insects in: larvae (caterpillars), pupae (cocoons), adult (moths), or egg mass.
The eastern tent caterpillar is indigenous to the continent of North America. There are records that mention the caterpillar as far back as 1646. Some of their favorite trees are: cherry, ornamental crab apples, maple, birch, willow and oak trees.
The larvae (caterpillars) hatch in early spring when the leaves of the cherry trees start to unfurl. The colony begins to construct a silken tent shortly after hatching. They stay in the tent when they are not feeding. On warm sunny days they leave the tent and feed on foliage. They are full grown 6 weeks after hatching. When the caterpillars are done feeding, some time in June, they spin white or yellowish parchment-like cocoons on fences, tree trunks, leaves on the ground or other available objects. The adult moths emerges in about 3 weeks. They are reddish-brown and have 2 parallel white lines on their wings. In July they mate and lay their eggs in foamy masses. The foam dries to a varnish-like substance. Each egg mass contains 150-200 eggs. The collar like egg masses often reach ¾ of an inch in length and completely encircle pencil sized twigs. The egg masses survive the winter and await the spring to hatch. They only produce one generation per year.
You may want to bring your own pencil as the one provided is quite small. There is a ten dollar bill for FTF. Have fun!!
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum