Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta cagnagella

Spindle Ermine moth
Spindle Ermine moth "Mirror, mirror on the wall . . ."
Spindle Ermine moth ". . . who is the fairest . . .?"
The Spindle Ermine moth is present in most of the UK except the far north. It is similar in looks and habits to the Bird Cherry, Orchard and Apple Ermine moths. It is called "spindle" since the preferred host of its caterpillar, the spindle, was previously the main wood for making weaving spindles. The "ermine" name is from its white background with black spots like "ermine" cloaks made from white stoats (ermines) with black tail tips. Wingspan 19-26mm; UK flight time Jul-Aug.
Spindle Ermine web
Spindle Ermine tent
Spindle Ermine webbing
Larvae are tent caterpillars that cover shrubs and bushes (especially spindle) in communal silk tents. The caterpillar looks similar to the Bird Cherry Ermine caterpillar below but has rounder black dots. The Orchard Ermine caterpillar is also similar and spins a similar silk tent.