Scientific name: Malacosoma neustria
July to August. Common north to Yorkshire but less frequent further north. Rather variable in colour from straw yellow to reddish brown, with two roughly parallel cross-lines on the forewings.
They have a hairy thorax and chequered forewing fringes with two distinct white patches. The females are larger than the males.
The brightly coloured orange, white and blue striped larvae can be found from April to June, living in groups in webs of silk. They overwinter as eggs, laid in bands around a twig of the foodplant.
Size and Family
- Family – Eggar moths (Lasiocampidae)
- Small Sized
- Wingspan – 26-42mm
- UK BAP: Priority species (research only)
Caterpillar Food Plants
Many feed on broadleaved trees and shrubs including Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), cherries, Plum (Prunus domestica) and Apple (Malus domestica). Also oaks and willows.
Open, sunny habitats, especially hedgerows, scrubby places, gardens and open woodland.
- Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
- Common and well distributed throughout southern England to Yorkshire. Mainly found on the coast and in the lowlands of Wales, with scattered records further north. Widespread in Ireland and on the Channel Islands.