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Yellownecked Caterpillars

Adult yellownecked caterpillars, Datana minstra, occur in June or July and lay eggs on deciduous shrubs and trees.  They will feed on many fruit and ornamental trees including birch, elm, oak, maple, Prunus spp., and others.  They feed gregariously in late summer.  They consume entire leaves except large mid-veins and can rapidly defoliate trees or cause significant damage. I found the caterpillars pictured below in the forest on a bush I couldn’t identify because every leaf was gone.  Scouting for small caterpillars can help reduce damage and improve control if it is needed.  Caterpillar management information is available here:

See pictures of this and other caterpillars on my blog here: