Scientific name: Eriogaster lanestris
January to March. A nationally scarce moth with scattered distribution across parts of Britain.
The adults are dark reddish-brown in colour with a whitish spot in the centre of the forewings and a whitish cross-line below. The females are larger than the males and have a tuft of grey hairs at the end of the abdomen which they use to cover the egg batches.
The adults are incapable of feeding. They fly at night and are occasionally attracted to light traps. The caterpillars can be found living in groups from April to July before they overwinter as pupae, sometimes spending two or three winters in the cocoon.
Size and Family
- Family – Eggar moths (Lasiocampidae)
- Medium Sized
- Wingspan Range – 30-42mm
- UK BAP: Not Listed
- Nationally Scarce B
Caterpillar Food Plants
Mainly Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) but also sometimes elms, Spindle (Euonymus europaeus), Apple (Malus domestica) and Grey Willow (Salix cinerea)
- Countries – England, Wales and Ireland
- Nationally Scarce B. Most frequent in Somerset and Dorset with scattered records around Oxfordshire, Norfolk, Lancashire, eastern parts of Wales and two localities in Northern Ireland.