White Satin Moth
This European moth is probably not native
to North America, which is known in the Maritime Provinces and Ontario as well
as in British Columbia. The eggs are laid in the summer in a small mass on a
poplar twig. They are protected by a smooth covering of hard cement. In September
the eggs hatch into tiny black hairy caterpillars, which spend the winter in
that state. The usual foodplants are poplars and willows, but especially the
White Poplar Populus alba. In spring, the caterpillars live solitarily,
and roll a leaf around themselves. The full grown caterpillar feeds in the open,
and is then conspicuous and presumably unpalatable to birds. It pupates in a
loose cocoon in a rolled-up leaf. The pupa inside the cocoon is remarkable hairy.
The moth emerges a few weeks later.