Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Day 320 - You'll Totally Marvel at Yellow Tail Moths

Yellow Tail Moth (Euproctis similis) - a great bugs eye view
Hi everyone, Day 320 and another picture stood out to me today when I looked through my photographs. It's another one of the moths that was trapped at the Nostefield open day. It was quite a contrast to a lot of the other moths as it was so bright white. There were 7 of these in all amongst the 71 other species we caught. I seem to have a lot of favourites but this is one of them, and yon can probably see why from the photos. I am going to be keeping a look out for this species caterpillar as it's one I've not seen as a caterpillar, that and my Mum loves 'Caterpiddlers' so we always keep an eye out for them anyway.

Today I'm looking at the Yellow Tail Moth, here's what I found out about them:

  • The caterpillars are one of those types which are covered with lots of irritating hairs on them so they need to be handled with care. 
Showing why its called a yellow tail.
  • These hairs are a defence mechanism from predators and they share this with some plants, like nettles and some tarantulas. The proper name for these hairs are Urticating hairs and the first bit Urtica is latin for nettle.
  • They are quite a common moth found over most of England and Wales. They aren't found much in Scotland but their numbers there are increasing. There are not many record of them in Ireland.
  • Their wingspan is 28-35mm and the females (like yesterdays sparrowhawks) are much larger than the males.
  • Its quite obvious why they are called yellow tailed moths - you can see there lovely yellow tail in my second photo.
  • This tufty tail is apparently used to cover the newly laid eggs.
A side view
  • They are found most commonly in July and August but they can be seen a month either side of this.
  • They are a night flying moth that is attracted to light, though this is most true of the males.
  • They overwinter as a larvae. The larvae like a range of deciduous trees and shrubs such as hawthorn, elm, oak and birch.
  • Habitats they like include parks. gardens, hedgerows and woodlands.
If you want to see more pictures or try and find more facts (think I got most of them) try these sites:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. What an adorable little moth, they're so fluffy! That first photo is amazing Zach! - Tasha