Mostly found on or near the coast on coastal scrub and hedgerows.
Caterpillars occur mostly in April to June and are well-known for their urticating hairs.
WARNING: Caterpillars can cause extreme irritation if in contact with human skin.
The larvae feed in a communal web on the leaves of the foodplants and are easily spotted.
Larval webs can be confused with other communal web spinning species such as the Ermines (Bird-cherry Ermine, Orchard Ermine, Spindle Ermine etc)
Widespread in the south east of England. They larvae can cause sufficient damage to be a serious pest in some areas.
Recorded in 63 (85%) of 74 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1834.
Last Recorded in 2021.