Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum)

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Wing Span 1 3/4 " 45 mm


This White Ermine ( Spilosoma lubricipeda) is very conspicuous standing out on trees and leaves it is a night flier. The size and number of spots is variable .Females have stouter bodies and thinner antennaWhen confronted will feign death , emitting an odouress substance from the thorax.Abdomen is yellow wiyth a row of black spots. Females deposit their shiny white eggs under Dandilion Dock and other low plants which the very hairy larvae feed fromn July to September.They pass the winter in the ground litter as a dark brown pupae enclosed in a cocoon of silk mixes with their own hair.


The Buff Ermine ( Below) varies in the colour form of buff and intensity of black markings The Buff Ermine whilst it has no poison to defend itself sufficiently mimics the white Ermine The female buffs are generally paler than the males and have stouter bodies and thinner antenna.. The dark brown caterpillar is covered with reddish-orange hairs, and fees in autumn on herbaceous plants, bushes and trees. particlarly Docks.Seen June - July