Forest tent caterpillar
The forest tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma disstria) is found throughout North America, especially in the eastern regions. Unlike related tent caterpillar species, the larvae of forest tent caterpillars do not make tents, but rather, weave a silky sheet where they lie together during molting. They also lay down strands of silk as they move over branches and travel as groups along these pheromone-containing silk trails. The caterpillars are social, traveling together to feed and massing as a group at rest. Group behavior diminishes as the caterpillars increase in size, so that by the fifth instar (molt) the caterpillars are feeding and resting independently.