Silk webs on Blackthorn

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The moth caterpillars responsible for spinning these extensive silk webs coating Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) at Poldhu Cove on The Lizard peninsular in Cornwall at the weekend, had already pupated (shown left).

It seems likely they were Orchard Ermine but to help confirm the identity some pupae have been retained to see what emerges.

Insight into Orchard Ermine (Yponomeuta padella): one of several species of micro moths that spin silk webs and live gregariously inside them. These webs are thought to be a defense against predation from birds and parasitoid wasps and those of some species such as the Spindle Ermine (Yponomeuta cagnagella) may encase whole trees and even park benches and railings.

Other Moth Sightings

Moth Galleries

Illustrated Guide to British Moths

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