A common resident but rarer further north and into Scotland. The forewing is uniformly white with black dots. Very similar in appearance to closely related Ermines and care must be taken with identification.

Flight Season

Flies at night from late June to early September in a single generation.

Size and Family

  • Family – Yponomeutinae
  • Small Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 19-26mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common Resident

Caterpillar Food Plants

As the vernacular name suggests, the caterpillars feed gregariously in a web on and are sometimes a pest of Spindle (Euonymus europaeus) and Evergreen Spindle (Euonymus japonicus). The webbing is sometimes extensive, covering entire bushes or hedges where leaves are almost entirely defoliated.


Can be found almost anywhere where the foodplants occur in Scrub, hedgerows or urban areas. Usually on chalk or limestone.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland

Spindle Ermine - Ilia Ustyantsev

Spindle Ermine

Spindle Ermine - Ilia Ustyantsev

Spindle Ermine

Spindle Ermine - Pete Withers

Spindle Ermine

Spindle Ermine - Stuart Read

Spindle Ermine

Spindle Ermine (mating pair) - Ilia Ustyantsev

Spindle Ermine (mating pair)

Spindle Ermine (caterpillars) - Dean Morley

Spindle Ermine (caterpillars)

Spindle Ermine (caterpillars) - Marcell Kárpáti

Spindle Ermine (caterpillars)

Spindle Ermine (larval web) - Andrew Dejardin

Spindle Ermine (larval web)