Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tent Caterpillars

Everyone in Traverse City seems to be talking about the tent caterpillar-alypse.

"And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords".

See the R-E: Crawlers creep in; Expert advises patience

Wikipedia: Tent caterpillar

What I find interesting is that the dominant deciduous forest trees are the last to leaf out and it makes me wonder if this is not only an adaptation to late-season freeze damage but to also let the fast growing trees sacrifice themselves to the caterpillars? So when the white oaks, walnuts, and ash tree finally complete their leaf out the insects have already gorged themselves on maples.