Thursday, June 04, 2015

another fine Yponomeuta mess....

I guess I'm getting my eye in for Yponomeuta outbreaks now. 

This is part of a length of hedge in the Swindon business park where I work.  I noticed it while driving past yesterday and thought: Hmm, I know what that's about. Sure enough, closer inspection revealed that the hedge was being absolutely blitzed by an Yponomeuta explosion. 

The caterpillars had eaten all the leaves, but conveniently they took no interest in the ripening fruit, which revealed this hedge as some kind of Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera).

Paradoxically, there's a P. cerasifera tree within 15 yards of this hedge, and it's totally untouched. As are all the other P. cerasifera trees in the vicinity, so far as I've noticed. 

Anyway, on the basis of the food-plant I'm guessing that this is Yponomeuta padella, the Orchard Ermine or Cherry Ermine, which is relatively unchoosy about what it eats: targets include Hawthorn as well as various Prunus species. 


The tarmac near the hedge is covered with a sheen of glistening webs, and thousands of wriggling caterpillars.

For Spindle Ermine (Yponomeuta cagnagella), see here. For Bird Cherry Ermine (Yponomeuta evonymella), see here.

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