The Moths of Suffolk
1633 Small Eggar, Eriogaster lanestris, (Linnaeus, 1758)

National Status : Notable Nb

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 3)

Distribution and abundance : Scarce

Habitats : Hedgerows

Flight Period : Single-brooded; March, although literature also states February

Larval foodplants : Hawthorn and blackthorn mainly

Comments : A species that appears much scarcer in recent years. More frequently recorded as a larva, as the larvae spin communal webs in the hedgerows.

Records : Yoxford (J Walshe, 1996), Horsham (S Goddard, 20.vii.1996), Eye (P Kitchener, 1999), Wickhambrook (R Parker, 25.vi.2001), Dalham (S Hearle, 26.v.2004), Fressingfield (P J Vincent, 31.iii.2004)

Morley's Final Catalogue : A most abnormal animal! Erroneously termed 'common' here by Bloomfield, probably because Greene once found it "very abundant about Brandeston, the hedges being quite full of the large, tough, glutinous webs spun by the larvae;" but unknown at Stowmarket then (Nat. 1858, 57). No other record emerges; and Mr. Morley never saw or heard of it in the County from 1891 till 1917, when in June extremely numerous gregarious larval-nests appeared in hedges at Monks Soham, Worlingworth, Bedingfield, Framlingham and Debenham in High Suffolk, which were commonest near Kenton railway-station; many imagines bred the following February and that succeeding by him and Dr. Vinter. The apparition has not yet been repeated.

Wingspan details : Forewing 15-21mm, Wingspan 36-47mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultDecember Moth, Poecilocampa populi

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Male, ex larva - Kirtling, Cambridgeshire (26.iii.2006) © Paul Bryant

Flight chart
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Life history chart
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pupa ovapupaimago ovaimago ovalarva larva larva larva larva pupa pupa pupa pupa

Further Photographs

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larva bred from captive stock (1.i.2006) © N Sherman
Cambridge (11.vi.2005) © A Prichard
Cambridgeshire (vi.2005) © Neil Sherman
 
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Larval nest - Cambridgeshire (vi.2005) © Neil Sherman
Larval nest - Cambridgeshire (vi.2005) © Neil Sherman
Female, ex larva - Kirtling, Cambridgeshire (26.iii.2006) © Paul Bryant
 
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Pupal case - Kirtling, Suffolk (26.iii.2006) © Paul Bryant
Bred from captive stock - .xii. © N Sherman
Larval nest - Burren, Co. Clare, Ireland (13.vi.2010) © Matthew Deans
 
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Final instar larva - Martin Down, Hampshire (7.vi.2015) © Neil Sherman
On Blackthorn - Martin Down, Hampshire (7.vi.2015) © Neil Sherman
Larval nest - Martin Down, Hampshire (7.vi.2015) © Neil Sherman