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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

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Yellow-tail (Euproctis similis)

The Yellow-tail is another Tussock Moth that I see in my garden relatively often. The larvae has brushes of hairs which are strikingly long. Due to the fact that the species overwinters as larvae, it can be found during most of the year (from September to May). The caterpillars feed on a wide variety of shrubs and trees, including oak, hawthorn and sallow. The adult moth is white and extremely hairy, quite much resembling a Woolly Bear species. On the top two pictures you'll see males of the Yellow-tail. Males are all white, except for three brownish or black spots near the top of the wings. The top picture betrays why the animal is called the Yellow-tail. In the middle pictures the snow white female. She lacks the black dot.



The caterpillar is depicted in the last five pictures. The bottom picture shows a less common pattern on the back of the larva. In it you see only a few red coloured spots instead of the usual broad stripes as depicted in other images.
Yellow-tail is quite common throughout Europe, but usually it is a kind of local species. It is rare in Scotland and scarce in Ireland. Having a wingspan of no more than 45 mm, the Yellow-tail is not a very big species. You can spot it flying from the end of June to August. Another scientific name for it, besides Euproctis similis, is Sphrageidus similis.
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