June 12, 2009

Ermine moths invade parts of Britain

A spike in the number of ermine moths has left trees in parts of Britain covered entirely in cocoons of silk resembling giant spider webs, observers said.

I was quite excited when I first saw it because it gives quite a beautiful effect as it looks silky in the sunlight, Deborah Collick, parks manager in Maidstone, Kent, told The Daily Telegraph in a story published Friday.

Adult ermine moths lay up to 400 eggs each. Hatching larvae then eat the tree leaves and spin themselves into cocoons of silk before becoming moths.

The trees will grow a new set of leaves and were not expected to suffer any long-term damage from the ermine moths, Collick said.

The giant silky webs also have been seen in Baggy Point, Croyde, near Devon.