Sunday, 18 April 2010

Processionary Moth Caterpillars

Processionary Moth Caterpillars 
Spring is the time of year when these caterpillars are readily noticed and potentially become a nuisance to people and animals. The caterpillars "nest" in web like tents in pine trees. At night they leave the nests and feed on the pine needles, often doing severe damage in coniferous plantations. In the spring they leave the nest, descending to the ground where they move in long "trains" sometimes tens of metres long, to find somewhere to pupate in the soil. The hairs are highly irritant and can cause skin rashes in humans and serious problems for dogs who may sniff or lick them resulting in potential breathing problems and soft tissue damage. This photo taken in the Forêt des Écrivains Combattants near Lamalou.

2 comments:

  1. Never saw caterpillars move in "train" like that. Fascinating.

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  2. Ran over a few trains on the bike last summer and...cut maybe 20 "nests" out of our conifers but...I still have a couple, which are too high to reach!!

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