1634 The Lackey Malacosoma neustria
(Linnaeus, 1758)Wingspan 25-35 mm.
The adults of this species are relatively dull in coloration, but the caterpillars are much more colourful, with orange, white and blue stripes on a dark brown ground colour.
The larvae feed gregariously in a web of silk, on hawthorn (Crataegus), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and other trees and shrubs.
Occurring mainly in the southern half of Britain, the flight period is July to August.