Pale Tussock

  • Pale Tussock
    Pale Tussock
  • Pale Tussock
    Pale Tussock
  • Pale Tussock
    Pale Tussock
  • Pale Tussock
    Pale Tussock
  • Pale Tussock
    Pale Tussock
  • Pale Tussock
    Pale Tussock
  • Pale Tussock
    Pale Tussock
  • Pale Tussock
    Pale Tussock

Scientific name: Calliteara pudibunda

On the wing from May to June. Common to England, Wales and most of Ireland but absent from Scotland. Previously known as ‘Hop-dog’ when it was a pest to commercial Hop fields.

The females are much larger than the males, but both rest with distinctive forward-facing furry legs. The markings are usually darker and more extensive in the males, which also have feathered orange-brown antennae. The males often come to light in larger numbers than the females.

The larvae are a bright greenish-yellow, with four tufts of golden yellow hairs. They grow slowly between late June and early October, then overwinter as pupae.

Size and Family

  • Family – Tussock moths (Lymantriidae)
  • Large Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 42-62mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

A wide variety of broadleaved trees and shrubs including hawthorns, Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), cultivated fruit trees, oaks, birches, Hazel (Corylus avellana), limes, elms, Hop (Humulus lupulus) and Barberry (Berberis vulgaris).

Habitat

Frequently found in gardens, hedgerows and parks. Also found in woodland, scrub and other bushy places.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales and Ireland
  • Common and very well distributed in England and Wales, north to Cumbria. Local on the Isle of Man and absent from Scotland. Well distributed in Ireland except for the north-west.