Caterpillars of the
World - Britain
Superfamily - NOCTUOIDEA
Euproctis similis, Oxfordshire, England ©
comprises about 350 genera and 2,500 species worldwide. There are 11
species recorded from Britain, including the Vapourer, the Black
Arches, and two species which have become extinct in the UK - the
Reed Tussock and the Gipsy moth.
species is found in woodland edge habitats, on scrubby grassland,
along hedgerows, and in parks and gardens at altitudes between sea
level and about 1000m.
larvae of most of the Lymantridae have dense tufts of hair on their
back, hence the popular name "tussock" moths. Other species
including the Yellow-tail moth have larvae that are devoid of dorsal
tussocks but have lateral tufts of hair instead. In some species
such as the Brown-tail Euproctis chrysorrhoea
the hairs have irritating properties which can cause a rash in
susceptible people. Many tropical species of Lymantridae also have
irritant or poisonous hairs.
The adult Yellow-tail
has as its name suggests, a bright yellow tip to its abdomen. The
rest of the body and wings are pure white and unmarked.