EN · bird-cherry ermine
DE · Traubenkirschen-Gespinstmotte
LV · ievu tīklkode
PL · namiotnik czeremszaczek
Some members of the small 'Ermines' are difficult to separate visually, but this species is one of the easiest, having five rows of black dots on the forewing. Nocturnal, it flies during July and August, and is attracted to light.
The host plant of the bird-cherry ermine is the bird cherry, but occasionally the caterpillars are found on cherry or buckthorn. The females lay their eggs on the winter buds. The young caterpillars overwinter underneath the bud scales and become active when the buds burst in spring. The larvae feed until the end of May or early June and then pupate in tightly packed communal webs on the trunk or among the herbaceous plants below. Because the caterpillars are concealed inside an extensive web-like nest, they can eat a whole tree bare unhindered, although it is likely that the trees will survive, with reduced growth in the following growth seasons. They seem to have few predators, but their numbers are reduced because of attacks by parasitic wasps.
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