Home / Lappet Moths (Lasiocampidae) / Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth (Malacosoma Americanum)

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth (Malacosoma Americanum)

The eastern tent moth is a member of the family of snout moths. It was first described by American entomologist Johan Christian Fabricius in 1793.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lasiocampidae
  • Genus: Malacosoma
  • Scientific Name: Malacosoma americanum

Description and Identification


While the color varies, they are mostly black with a white dorsal stripe and a series of brown and yellow lateral lines, but some also have blue spots. They can reach up to 4-5 cm.

Eastern Tent Moth Caterpillar



The caterpillar pupates in a white or yellow cocoon in a secure place.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

When the wings are open, a reddish-brown color is observed alongside two creamy white stripes. When the wings are closed, the colors are similar.

Average wingspan: 2.5 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: late May to June


Adults lay 200 – 300 eggs in a single mass.

Quick Facts

DistributionEastern and the central United States
Lifespan of Adults5 days
PredatorsBirds and stink bugs
Host PlantsBlack cherry; also broadleaf, maple, and oak
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • The eastern tent moth caterpillars are often confused with the gypsy moth caterpillars, however only the latter are pests to cranberry tree
Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth Image


Eastern Tent Moth


Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth Picture


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