Huge web weaved by thousands of tiny caterpillars engulfs Scottish car park

May 26, 2016 | by | 0 Comments

Shoppers have been flocking to look at this incredible sight – a giant caterpillar‘s web which has completely cocooned a 30ft long bush.

The sticky, silky mass is the work of thousands of tiny caterpillars which all started weaving at the same time.

It took the tiny creatures just days to create the natural wonder around a bush on the side of DIY store Wickes in Stirling.

Huge caterpillar nest growing in Wickes carpark in Stirling which has now been cordoned off because of people wanting to look at it (SWNS)

Huge caterpillar nest growing in Wickes carpark in Stirling which has now been cordoned off because of people wanting to look at it (SWNS)

Caterpillars, which feed on cherry trees, hawthorn and blackthorn, build webs around their favourite feeding plants as a way to protect themselves from predators.

Maureen McLaughlin, 68, who shopping at the store, said she was stunned by the sight.

She said: “It’s incredible.

(SWNS)

(SWNS)

“It’s quite a phenom. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It just shows you how amazing nature is.

“It’s a bit like what your worst nightmare is when u see them all moving around the web. But Nature is beautiful. I walk dogs and I have never seen anything like it.”

Wickes have since cordoned parts off the car park.

(SWNS)

(SWNS)

A spokeswoman for the company said they were “in the process of finding out more”.

Leonie Alexander, a urban biodiversity project officer at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), said: “These are likely to be the caterpillars of a group of moths called Small Ermine moths.

“There are eight species in the group and probably the most likely species is the Bird-cherry Ermine Y. evonymella which has a more northerly distribution.

(SWNS)

(SWNS)

“They appear in May or June and can look really dramatic with swathes of webbing across hedgerow trees.

“This strategy gives good protection against predation where the caterpillars can safely munch away on leaves while protected inside the webbing.

“There are other species which produce webbing but not usually so extensive. The adult moths in this group of small ermines can be difficult to separate visually but the bird cherry species is one of the easiest with five rows of black dots on the forewing.”

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