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Bourne photographer captures images of silk webbing created by micro ermine moth caterpillars



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Amateur photographer Jason Richardson's fears turned to fascination after coming across this ‘natural work of art’ while out walking on Tuesday.

Taking a shortcut home from his walk next to Car Dyke in Bourne, near Tesco, he came across a tangle of thick webbing.

It contained thousands of caterpillars.

“I stopped because I don’t like spiders and thought there must be a gigantic spider leaving webbing that big,” said Jason.

“I thought this spider has a fair meal there, but then saw more and more of these caterpillars.

“I decided to Google it and saw it was this natural phenomenon.”

The caterpillars create the webbing to protect themselves against birds before they transform into moths and fly off
The caterpillars create the webbing to protect themselves against birds before they transform into moths and fly off

After some quick online research Jason believes he had found micro ermine moth caterpillars.

The large-scale, thick silk webbing they create is designed to protect against parasitic wasps and birds and can be found from May to June before disappearing over the summer.

When they emerge the moths are white or greyish with small black dots.

The micro ermine moth caterpillars will become adult moths which are white or greyish with black spots
The micro ermine moth caterpillars will become adult moths which are white or greyish with black spots

“It was magical to see it,” Jason added.

“It is quite a rare sighting in the UK apparently.

People urged to report sightings of oak processionary moth caterpillars

“They feed off the plants and then transform into moths. I’m hoping to be around there to maybe see them when they come out.”

Jason initially thought this webbing had been created by spiders
Jason initially thought this webbing had been created by spiders


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