The sun at just the right angle illuminated a horizontal band of white “fluff” in a Pagoda Dogwood tree and it warranted a better look. At first appearances one thinks of Tent Moth caterpillars but this is the wrong sort of tree. Closer inspection found that most of the affected area had been infested for some time as there were dead leaves and no remaining caterpillars however on one area there were enough to photograph. Fawn coloured wth small black dots and maybe a centimetre long – nothing like the much larger and more colourful tent moths.
These are caterpillars of the Fall Webworm Moth (Hyphantria cunea). Fortunately it “is mainly an aesthetic pest and is not believed to harm otherwise healthy trees.” The adult moths are mostly white and not unattractive. It can be found on any species of hardwood tree.