Friday, 29 April 2016

Invasive caterpillar on the move in SE England

As things are a bit quiet at the moment I thought you might be interested on this possible addition to the Ceredigion list sometime in the future!
Box Tree Moth caterpillars on the roam.
Box tree caterpillars (Diaphania perspectalis) feed within webbing and can completely defoliate box (Buxus) plants. 
The moths lay overlapping sheets of pale yellow eggs on the underside of box leaves. Once hatched, the larvae begin chomping their way through their host plant. 
Reaching around 4cm long, they spin webs around leaves and twigs to conceal and protect themselves.
Box tree caterpillar on Box (Buxus)Image copyrightAndrew Halstead
Image captionThis is what a box tree caterpillar grows into
Image copyrightCarol Sheppard
Image caption
While the adult moth was first reported in the UK in 2008, caterpillars were not found in private gardens until 2011. By the end of 2014 the moth had become established in parts of London and surrounding counties.
Experts believe the moth originated in China and either flew across the English Channel or stowed away in containers of imported plants.


Image copyrightRoyal Horticultural Society
Image caption

2 comments:

  1. It's got a way to go yet to reach Ceredigion, but it is indeed on the way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not too many box plants over here either!

    ReplyDelete