Friday, 29 May 2020

The Secret of the Spooky Hedgerow

Sarah sent a video to New Ferry Butterfly Park Facebook page showing a hedge covered with strange webs and thousands of tiny caterpillars and asked if we knew what it was. It looked spooky but was fascinating.

The caterpillars are from Ermine moths which had laid their eggs on this hawthorn hedge. Large groups of thousands of caterpillars are easily seen by predators so the silky web hides them from view.

The webs are usually seen in May to June and slowly disappear over the summer. By next year the hawthorn hedge will have recovered. The adult moths fly later in summer and are greyish white with small black dots and their appearance gives the name  ermine moth.

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