Wednesday, 11 May 2011

It's a mystery!

I found these caterpillars on a bush in my garden this morning and I’ve been struggling to find an ID all day and it’s now started to bug me (pun intended!). 

Can anyone help?

The longest one is about  1”/25mm long and they seem to be living in the web tent/cocoon you can see behind them. They all took shelter inside the web when we had a brief rain shower! I guess that there are about 50+ in total.


holdingmoments said...

They look very much like the Bird Cherry Ermine Moth caterpillar Trevor. They'll cover the tree or bush they are on in silk, completely defoliate the plant, and eventually hatch into tiny white moths with black dots.

The Herald said...

Thanks Keith. Yeh, you’re spot on.
They might have something to do with the fact that my neighbour has a cherry tree in his garden!
Now, if they’re a pest what should I do leave them or destroy them? (:{

holdingmoments said...

The tree or bush will survive.
There are a few trees covered at the moment at the south end of Caldecotte. Happens every year, but the trees do survive.

Frank said...

I'm fairly certain it's a 'Sawfly' ... but which one .. who knows. The host plant might provide a clue.

The Herald said...

Hi Frank, The mystery was solved by Keith at Caldecotte Lake, but his comment was lost when Blogger had its headache! lol.

It's the caterpillar of the Bird Cherry Ermine Moth (yponomeuta evonymella). Apparently they defoliate the tree in days! Luckily "my collection" disappeared overnight. :0)