Small Eggar moth

Eriogaster lanestris

Small Eggar moth lavae (Eriogaster lanestris) - photo © Jennifer Wiggins
Photo © Jennifer Wiggins

This is a very local species which occurs in widely scattered colonies across England as far north as Yorkshire, and in Ireland and in a very few locations in Wales.

The larvae are found on blackthorn or hawthorn between May and July, living gregariously in a conspicuous nest of grey silk webbing.

The body is velvety-black with red-brown marks that are bordered with white, and is completely covered with fine brown hairs, some quite long.