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Old 06-04-2010, 12:43 PM   #1
ButterflyLinda's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Texas
Default Tawny Emporers

Our hackberry trees in this areas are covered with caterpillars...very unusual, seldom see anything much on the hackberries. IF they are all Tawny Emporer cats, that's a pretty big population explosion. I'm seeing variations, cats that are different from each other. I'm wondering...there are different kinds of those, at least 3 that I've heard of , but I don't have expererience with ID on that species as far as the cats. I'm just going by a butterfly caterpillar book...and the internet pics. This year is so different, lots of butterflies and cats.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:21 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Greensboro, Alabama USA

My sister is still back home in Mi and I hear what is happening. She goes into the woods almost every day on a golf cart loaded with grandchildren. I heard the morels didn't make it this year--they only found a few, and the tent worms are the worst ever. ... .
5-25-2010 West Michigan Checking In thread.

My sister noticed masses of tent worms in the woods this year. Someone explained that there is a problem with the birds due to an early spring. The birds did not keep the populations of tent worms down. Some people are even spraying them--which will be bad news for butterfly cats.

What I learned is the tent worms follow a ten year cycle of peak population. So the best thing to do is to wait for next year and there may be less of them. And maybe the birds will do their job next year.

Maybe the same factors that influence the tent worms are influencing the butterfly cats.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:09 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Texas

El Nino might have something to do with this also. The most severe area drought in recorded history (La Nina hit us hard) ended here early last fall and the rainfall last fall and during the winter was really a lot for this area. This spring it's less so, but still the vegetation growth has for the most part really been really amazing, considering.
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emporers, hackberry, tawny

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