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December Moth Poecilocampa populi

The Eggars are a family of extremely hairy moths. They are also known as Lappet Moths and, especially in the USA, as Tent Caterpillars. All are medium sized or large animals (a few species almost reach a wingspan of 100 mm) and most are brownish. Many have a tuft of hair added to the tail and often visible even in rest. So far only one species was spotted in our garden: the December Moth. Reaching a wingspan of some 44 mm it is one of the smaller species. It shows colours varying from blackish to dark brown and the tuft of hairs is clearly visible. The December Moth is on the wing from mid October to December in southern parts of Britain, but may appear a month earlier up north. Moderately common all over Britain. It overwinters as an egg, hatching in april. The caterpillars feed on various trees, including oak, birch and poplar.