Extensive webs of tiny caterpillars in hedges and trees

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Spindle Ermine caterpillar webs (Yponomeuta cagnagella) on spindle hedging in Hertfordshire photo James Stedman
Extensive caterpillar webs of several species of tiny Ermine Moth, micro moth family Yponomeutidae, are being sighted in many parts of the UK.

The small caterpillars of Ermine species are often difficult to identify, particularly when inside the silk web, and often the best way to identify the species of Ermine caterpillar is by the foodplant.

The webs will often coat large areas of hedging and trees such as Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Spindle and Bird Cherry. These are favoured by particular species of Ermine caterpillar such as The Spindle Ermine which feeds on spindle trees and hedging.

The extensive Spindle hedge web featured was photographed by James Stedman in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

Orchard Ermine caterpillar web on Blackthorn in Cornwall

Ermine Moth, Yponomeuta padella,

Other caterpillars that spin webs in trees and hedges include The Lackey and Brown-tail Moths.

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