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First- and second-instar tent caterpillar larvae are acceptable prey for many native species of ants. The amount of predation which occurs is normally related to ambient temperature. A warm period in early spring allows ants to forage actively and often leads to destruction of the caterpillar colonies whereas a cool spring curtails ant activity and allows the caterpillars to develop beyond the vulnerable period free from predation by ants. In latter instars the caterpillars are protected completely against ants by their dense setae.