Oak Processionary Caterpillar Thaumetopoea processionea

Oak Processionary Caterpillar
Oak Processionary Caterpillar
The Oak Processionary moth is a recent colonist of the south of England from southern Europe. The caterpillars construct a communal silk web tent on their host oak tree to protect themselves.
Oak Processionary Caterpillar
Oak Processionary Caterpillar
The caterpillar (and moth) is so named as when they eat, mainly at dusk/night, they follow each other in a vast procession up and down the trunk of the oak. In addition to damage to the oak foliage, the hairs of these caterpillars are shed easily in the air and can be a severe irritant to human skin and the respiratory system.