A caterpillar of the spindle ermine moth (Yponomeuta cagnagella) crawling along a grass blade at Bexley, Kent. The family Yponomeutidae are known as the ermine moths, with several hundred species, most of them in the tropics.The larvae tend to form communal webs, and some are minor pests in agriculture, forestry, and horticulture. Tracy Adams, farm conservation officer, said: “These sinister webs are spun by the larvae of the ermine moth as they feed. The caterpillars of the Bird-Cherry Ermine Moth (Latin: Yponomeuta evonymellus) cover a tree in a communal silk web. The nonnative euonymus caterpillar moth, or spindle ermine (Yponomeuta cagnagella), has been introduced to North America from Europe. The adult moths fly later in summer and all look superficially similar, being white or greyish with many small black dots, hence the ermine name. Never recorded on oak. The sedum small ermine can have two generations a year with active caterpillars in June-July and September-October. Hosts: Different species of small ermine moths can be found on willow (Salix), hawthorn (Crataegus), cherry & blackthorn (Prunus), and some other fruit and ornamental trees. It is showing up in some U.S. states, primarily in the Great Lakes region. The sedum small ermine (Y. sedella) can have 2 generations per year, the caterpillars being active June-July and September-October. Other hairy caterpillar can be seen in the Hairy caterpillar gallery and British moth caterpillar gallery Certain members of the unrelated snout moths (Pyralidae) are also known as "ermine moths." The shrub normally recovers from this mass defoliation. The caterpillars pupate within the webbing. The colour of the dorsal line of the fully grown caterpillar may be either red, orange or quite pale. May. Spilosoma lubricipeda is an unrelated moth with the common name "white ermine.". The very hungry caterpillars giving Northamptonshire's countryside a spooky look ... belong to a group of insects called Small Ermine moths. Ermine moth webs should not be confused with other web-forming larvae, which can be found around the same time, although these nests tend not to be so extensive and the caterpillars of most are hairy. These caterpillars should not be confused with the webbing caused by box tree caterpillar, cotoneaster webbers, brown tail moth or oak processionary moth. Ermine Moth caterpillars Andy M noticed that the Spindle Trees were covered in webs this week, and that their leaves had been almost entirely consumed by Ermine Moth caterpillars, which were dropping themselves out of the trees on long strands of silk. 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