You are here

Where did all these caterpillars come from?

Where did all these caterpillars come from?

Fri, April 24, 2020 by Viki Richardson, Coordinator for Outreach Programs | in Lowcountry History

Where did all these caterpillars come from?!?

Have you noticed an abundance of caterpillars lately? They are called Tent caterpillars. There are three species of Tent caterpillars: An Eastern tent caterpillar, a Forest tent caterpillar and a Web worm. Large numbers of these caterpillars usually occur about every 10 years.

The reason they are called “tent” caterpillars is because they live in a tent of silk that they spin in the fork of a tree. They come out to feed on the leaves of a tree and scoot back in for protection from predators.

The damage they cause rarely kills the tree.

The Fall Webworm likes to pitch its tent on the ends of the branches and not in the fork of the tree.

What does a tent caterpillar turn into? A lappet moth!

A lappet moth is a small brown moth that blends in with the bark of a tree. It uses the brown coloration to help camouflage itself, so it stays safe from predators.

Make your own caterpillar at home!


          Construction paper and scissors

          Ruler (cm and mm are on most rulers)


          Craft knife (box cutter, utility knife)

          Marker and two skewers


Cut a piece of paper 15 cm x 15 cm, or 6 in X 6 in

On opposite sides of the paper, mark a half inch or (1 cm) margin and an inch and a quarter or  (3 cm) margin. Draw a line down to the bottom on each side.

On each line, mark off one cm all the way down. Use your ruler and connect the marks from one side to the other until you have straight lines across the paper.

Lay your paper on a cutting board or the back of a note pad to cut through the lines.

Get an adult to cut the lines with a craft knife, making sure not to cut through the margins of the paper.

Fold the margins of the 1 cm and 3 cm sides towards the middle to crease them. Apply glue to the 1 cm side and roll the paper so you can attach it to the edge of the 3 cm side.

Make the face of your caterpillar by tracing a small circle about one and a half inches across. Draw antennas on the top of the head, too.

Use the marker to make eyes, nose, and mouth on your face.

Glue the face on the first 3 loops of your caterpillar’s body.

Take the two skewers and poke them through the bottom of the caterpillar’s front and back.

Now you can use the skewers to make your caterpillar crawl around!

You can make different color caterpillars and decorate them with glitter, spots, or pompoms! Use your imagination  and craft supplies that you have around the house.


Open Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For their safety and the safety of our animal collection, pets are not allowed, nor can they be left in vehicles inside Brookgreen.
Service animals that have received special training to assist disabled persons are welcome. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.


Daily General Admission Tickets for 7 consecutive days
Children 3 and under
Children 4-12
Adults 13-64
Seniors 65 & Over


1931 Brookgreen Drive

Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Off US Highway 17 Bypass, between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island