Spindle Ermine (Yponomeula cagnatella)

As you travel the country roads and lanes of mid-Dorset, the chalk landscapes, you frequently find amazing extensive white 'spiders' webs along the hedgerows. This is the work of the Spindle Ermine moth larvae.

The moth is abundant all across Europe and especially so here in Dorset where the soil is calcareous and where Spindle commonly grows in the hedgerows . The adult moths fly in June and July and the resulting larvae live gregariously on the leaves of Spindle, stripping it completely of foliage. They pupate in large numbers and over winter as pupae in the foot of the tree.

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