SM9938 : Lackey moth caterpillars

taken 8 years ago, near to Dinas Cross, Pembrokeshire/Sir Benfro, Great Britain

Lackey moth caterpillars
Lackey moth caterpillars
The caterpillars were clustering on the shady side of the 'tent' that was attached to a blackthorn twig. I had to bend the branch down to expose them. They use the tent as a communal base from which to spread out and eat foliage sometime to the destruction of the shrub.
These larvae of the Lackey moth Malacosoma neustria are easy to confuse (I did!) with the caterpillars of the Browntail moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) which also nest gregariously in similar silken tents and can be a serious a health hazard in Southeast England when they occur in profusion.
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These stripey blue/brown caterpillars are more colourful than the brown adult moth which was named after the dull livery worn by servants in past times. Their food plants are hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel and fruit trees - they can do serious damage in orchards.
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SM9938, 56 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 21 May, 2010   (more nearby)
Monday, 24 May, 2010
Caterpillar   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SM 992 387 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:0.6259N 4:55.5576W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SM 992 387
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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