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Deadly teenage moths from outer space attack Cambridge trees

silver-treesThis one is quite close to home.  I live a short distance from Jesus Green in Cambridge, where a whole row of trees has taken on a ghostly white appearance.  The culprits are caterpillars of the bird cherry ermine moth, one of the 2,400 species of moths in the British Isles.  About an inch in length, the caterpillars protect themselves inside large silvery webs while they eat the trees’ leaves.  They look rather like cobwebs can look in the early morning when covered in dew.  While they do denude the trees of their leaves, the trees usually recover after the adult moths have left.  The caterpillars will turn into pupae, and adult ermine moths will emerge in July and August.  It looks as though a large number of birds will be very well fed during the summer, and the trees will gradually return to normal.  Until then, however, we have an eerie white avenue to walk through.


One Response

  1. […] has two pieces of good news to report. Those trees on Jesus Green which I showed enveloped in ghostly white film and stripped of leaves are now back in business. With the gypsy […]

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