ben abbatt's picture

Silk trails on Alder

Observed: 17th March 2011 By: ben abbatt

Hello Ispot, I have seen a series of silk trails (presumeably from a caterpillar?) on the underside of the main stems of a series of leaning Alder trees. The silks start from c2m and travel into the upper canopy of the trees. There are no obvious 'nest'. The sil trails are upto 10cm wide. Can any one help me identify the organism responsible.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


anonymous spotter's picture

Silk trails

My first thought was of tortrix moths. Their larvae feed in the canopy, but will "bail out" on silk threads if a flock of birds comes foraging. But at 10cm wide, that's not the answer here.
There are several caterpillars that form "tents" around trees and shrubs to protect the family. Alder is one target of an American species, but I'm not sure which ones occur in the UK.
Hopefully someone else will know!