Friday 9 July 2010

Butterflies and Moths (2): Mysterious Web Weavers

Caterpillar Webs

I took these photographs on a quiet wooded road en route from Perth to Aberfeldy.

I have come across this kind of phenomenon before at Spurn Head in Yorkshire, where a similar web is made by caterpillars of the native Brown-Tail Moth (Euproctis Chrysorrhoea). These Brown-Tail creatures have toxic barbed hairs. They emerge in spring from their white webs to feed on sea buckthorn: you can read more about them on my Land&Lit blog here.

After a bit of Googling, I alighted on the fact that the caterpillars of the Ermine Moth spin similar webs in England; but not in the 'far north', which according to the map includes Scotland. So I am left with a puzzle on my hands, and would be very grateful if anyone cares to identify the spinners of the web in the photos for me.


Crafty Green Poet said...

no idea of the species that does that up here but we saw exactly the same thing in a similar location to you!

Jim said...

Were the trees Bird Cherries (Prunus Padus? If so, there's your answer - Bird Cherry Ermine moth. These are very 'species specific', ie only on Bird Cherry trees!