Brown-tail - Euproctis chrysorrhoea

Alternative names
Brown Tail

Wingspan 36 to 42 mm. A plain white species when at rest, although the abdomen, as the name suggests, has a brown tuft of hairs which the female uses to cover the eggs with when they are laid. The brown colouration extends along most of the back of the abdomen in the male. In the female, the back of the abdomen is white, but the tuft of brown hairs is bigger.

Identification difficulty

Scrub, hedges and gardens containing the larval foodplants.

When to see it

July and August.

Life History

The hairs of the caterpillars cause extreme irritation if in contact with human skin. They feed in a communal web on the leaves of Hawthorn and Blackthorn.

UK Status

The species is distributed mainly around the south and east coasts of England and in some years can become locally abundant. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

It appears to be uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland, where there are few records. L&R Moth Group status = D (rare or rarely recorded).

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map