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Terrence Fitzgerald

Terrence Fitzgerald

Terrence Fitzgerald, Biological Sciences Department, and former students Michael Smith ’11 and Steven Miller ’08, co-authored a paper appearing in the current issue of the Journal of Thermal Biology. “Thermal properties of the tent of early instar colonies of the eastern tent caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae)” is based on a study, conducted over a period of seven years, which shows that on spring mornings the silk tent that the caterpillars construct acts like a miniature green house allowing the caterpillars resting inside to raise their body temperatures far enough above the cold outside temperature to enable digestive processes and growth. Internal tent temperatures as great as 40 degrees Celsius in excess of outside air temperatures were recorded under field conditions in mid-May.