Caterpillars and Chrysalises

Fall Webworm Fall Webworm
Hyphantria cunea


Caterpillar variably colored, with long whitish to light brown hairs; grows to 1". In late summer makes large gray web; conspicuous in fall.

Similar Species

The Fall Webworm Moth is very similar to the Virginian Tiger Moth but much smaller.

Life Cycle

Eggs laid in groups of 400-500 on underside of host plant leaves. Host plants are many broadleaf trees, including cherries, hickories, oaks, willows, Sweetgum, and many others. Preferences are seasonal and regional.


1-4 broods, depending upon latitude; with one in much of the North, 2 in Kansas, and 2-4 in Texas. March to August.

Fall Webworm Nest
Fall Webworm Adult


Broadleaf and mixed woods.


Canada to Mexico.


Since the caterpillars of this species, through much of its range, feed on trees mainly in the late summer and fall when leaves are of less importance to the trees themselves, the Fall Webworm is not considered a major pest in the forestry industry. Caterpillar numbers are controlled in most outbreaks by many species of parasitic wasps and flies. Cuckoos are one of the few groups of birds that relish hairy caterpillars such as those of this species.