Orchard Ermine moth

On the 14th June, I observed that the Common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) hedgerow on either side of the B4518 between Llidiarddau & Cenarth Mill was covered in what initially looked like spider webs. I managed to make a return visit on 22nd June, and on closer observation they were found to be a moth – possibly Orchard Ermine moth (Yponomeuta padella), although I am unable to find out very much about them. The affected sections of hedgerow are not continuous, but a lot of the vegetation has been stripped bare. I took a series of photos at SN9765678118, which I have sent to the County Recorder for identification.

The Orchard Ermine (Yponomeuta padella) is a lepidoptera from the family Yponomeutidae, the Ermine moths. It is also known as the Cherry Ermine, and the larvae feed on Prunus spinosa, Crataegus and Prunus. I don’t know much about moths, so this has been a bit of guesswork so far. As the larvae grow, I may be able to take further photos which may aid further identification.

(From Brian Matthews, Pant y dwr)

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One Response to Orchard Ermine moth

  1. Brian says:

    I have had my identification confirmed by Pete & Ginny Clarke, and they confirm that it is the Orchard Ermine (Yponomeuta padella). There have been several reports from all over Radnorshire, and apparently Ermine moths are having a good year. Their webs are abundant, and are usually found on Bird Cherry hedges & trees. Y.padella also feeds on Apple, in which case it is either Apple Ermine (Y.malinellus) or Orchard Ermine (y.padella), but when it occurs on Hawthorn it must specifically be Orchard Ermine.
    More examples can be found on the roadside between St Harmon and Gilfach.

    The host trees are rarely damaged (though commercial crops may be). Once the larvae go into pupation the trees normally start to re-grow their leaves. The trees are normally only attacked for one or two seasons and then the Ermines move on. This may be due to an excess of parasites, but reasons are unclear.

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