Buff Ermine Moth
The Buff Ermine Moth (34- 42 mm wingspan) is a hairy moth with a variable pastel, yellow to cream colour. The eggs are deposited in large groups in summer. They hatch quickly; the caterpillars eat a lot and grow fast. Young larvae of the Buff Ermine moth often live together in large groups, but they split up once they get older. The larvae are extremely mobile and capable of covering large distances quickly and when threatened, they will either freeze or run away. In autumn, cocoons are woven in which the pupation takes place. The cocoons can be found among leaf litter and other plant debris during winter. The caterpillar of the Buff Ermine Moth will eat almost everything from small garden plants to shrubs and birch trees. Even though the first Buff Ermines appear in April and the last are seen by the end of August, most fly about from mid-June to mid-July. This moth only flies during the night. Should you find one resting during the day, you can easily take some photos as it hardly ever moves and never flies off. This is probably due to the fact that both adult and larva are foul tasting and even slightly poisonous for birds. Adult moths do not eat and they are very common throughout Ireland, the UK and the continent.