Pale Tussock Moth Calliteara pudibunda
The Pale Tussock Moths belongs to its own family of Tussock Moths. The caterpillars of this family are largely breathtakingly beautiful and almost all carry some four tussocks on their back. Often a smaller, colourful tussock of longer hairs is found on the tail. The adults do look like Owlet Moths a lot, but have larger wings (rather looking like those of the Geometers). Some species though do look like Woolly Bears. Adults of the Pale Tussock Moth are very variable and are on the wing in May and June mainly. The caterpillars feed on lots of trees and shrubs, including hop, being locally known as Hop-dog. The caterpillar may be an exotic beauty, the adult moth certainly is not. They are very variable, but in my part of Holland the darker variation is predominant. In other parts of Europe though the lighter variation may be more common. It is a little bit more interesting, but not much. The adults fly about in May and June mainly. Adult Pale Tussock Moths do not feed anymore. Common moth in England, Wales and Southern Ireland. Reaching a wingspan of up to 70 mm. this sometimes is a big species. However many specimens never get bigger than some 50 to 55 mm.