Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 16:13 UK

Caterpillars cover trees in silk


Dr Ana Delgado from Maidstone council explains what the caterpillars are doing

Caterpillars that cover whole trees in cocoons of silk, like giant spider webs, have invaded a park in Kent.

The insects, called ermine moths, are feeding on leaves in Cobtree Manor Park, but the council has reassured residents the trees will re-leaf again.

Different ermine moths choose different food sources, and these ermine moths are feasting on bird-cherry trees, the council explained.

It said there had been an explosion in the caterpillar population in the park.

First the larvae eat the leaves, while they are underneath the cocoons, and then they change into moths, the council said.

The council said the trees would not be harmed, the insects would not cause any long-term damage, and the leaves would grow again.

Visitors to the park have seen an "abundance" of caterpillars beneath the silk webbing.

Print Sponsor

African butterflies swarm to UK
26 May 09 |  England
Giant web woven by caterpillars
28 May 08 |  Gloucestershire
Caterpillars envelop St Petersburg
16 Jun 04 |  Europe

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific