Thousands of caterpillars weave a web in Castleford - amazing photographs

Halloween has come early to Castleford.

By Julie Marshall
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 5:47 pm

Thousand of caterpillars have spun webs on the trees and railings on land at Lock Lane creating an unusual sight.

Sarah Longfellow sent us these pictures of her three-year-old son Cain. She said: "Cain thought they were amazing.

"At first I thought that someone had been spraying Halloween decorations on the trees and railings but when I got closer I saw thousands of caterpillars, dangling down.

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Three-year-old Cain is fascinated by the moths and their webs.

The county's moth recorder Dr Charles Fletcher, said: "These are the larval webs of the bird-cherry ermine – Yponomeuta evonymella.

"Most bird-cherry trees have a few larval webs but now and again they seem to run riot and defoliate the whole tree.

"Just once in a while they do this and cover all the surrounding area with the webs which looks rather dramatic.

"You would imagine that the tree would suffer and die, but it seems to do remarkably little long-term damage, and the leaves appear as normal next year.

This bush is covered by the web of the bird-cherry ermine moth

"I’ve seen a lot of these, but I don’t think I’ve seen any quite as extensive as these."

Even the gate posts doesn't escape the moths' webs
The tree is completely covered
A close-up of the caterpillars