What is lackey moth?
Lackey moth adults are mid-brown in colour and have a wingspan of approximately 30mm. They lay eggs in bands of 100-250 that encircle the stems of a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs.
The hairy orange, white and blue striped brown caterpillars are up to 50mm long. They feed gregariously under webbing and can cause a significant amount of defoliation on their deciduous tree hosts.
Some other caterpillars may appear similar to those of the Lackey moth. Two which may be found in gardens in London and surrounding areas are the gypsy moth and oak processionary moth. The gypsy moth has 7cm long caterpillars which have yellowish heads with hairy brownish yellow and black bodies, it is found on a wide variety of trees and shrubs. Oak processionary moth has hairy black caterpillars that form nests, but is only found on oak.