Another that I've been expecting.

Oak Processionary. A moth to strike terror into the heart of the general public...

In Southern Europe, where the species naturally occurs, the ecosystem is balanced so that the moths have natural predators to keep the numbers under control, but further north - where due to slow expansion and accidental introduction - there is not. This species can take over areas and cause human suffering via irritant hairs that are found on the caterpillars, (which can break off and become airborne, finding their target with ease).

Since 2006 an increasing number of records have come from south-west London, and, even with council controls such as spraying infected trees, the expansion creeps on. Until today I had not recorded the moth at the garden MV, but this morning one finally turned up. Along with Box Moth, a garden addition that is not really good news.

Back in 1987, when I first switched the Banstead garden moth trap on, I would have laughed out loud with incredulity if someone had told me that by 2018 the following would be resident: Tree-lichen Beauty, Jersey Tiger, Toadflax Brocade, Small Ranunculus, White-point and Cypress Carpet. And they're just the species that come right off the top of my head...


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