Identification Challenge #1 Reveal

Maybe I made the first identification challenge too hard. No one even ventured a guess in the comments in the two months since I posted it. Here’s the image again:

May 23, 2010 | Twelvestones, Roswell, GA, USA | ~10mm

Here’s another view that might make it a bit easier.

This is the egg mass of an eastern tent caterpillar. Next spring, I should see the distinctive webbing on the cherry tree in my backyard where I found this. There’s hundreds of eggs here, but last time I checked it, it was looking a bit worse for wear. The varnish so clearly visible here has worn and chunks of the mass are missing. Perhaps some eggs were parasitized and the parasites have since exited.

I’ll post the next challenge fairly soon. I expect it will be easier, and hopefully it’ll garner at least some guesses.

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