This caterpillar was walking along a dandelion stem working its way to the top. The forest tent caterpillar is native to North America and is the most widespread defoliator (leaf-eater) of deciduous trees on the continent. Outbreaks of this insect have been recorded in Canada since 1791. The larval, or caterpillar, stage typically lasts about seven weeks. The larvae are most active during the months of May and June. The individual larvae become pupa in late June on into July and remain in this stage for 1 to 2 weeks. Adults emerge in late June through the middle part of July and can persist into August. / SANDRA JAMES