Lepidoptera The Spring Usher Moth – Hybernia Leucophaaria
Early in February, and often even in January, this moth may be seen in abundance in almost every oak wood, sitting on the bark of the trees, or occasionally taking a short flight in the sunshine. In colour it is very variable. The wings have always a whitish ground marbled and dotted with dark brown, but in some the fore wings are almost entirely dark brown with the exception of a transverse central bar. The female has only the slightest rudiments of wings.
The caterpillar feeds on the young buds and leaves of the oak (Quercus Robur) and sycamore (Acer Pseudoplatanus), concealing itself among the small leaves which it has spun together. It is full grown in June, when it changes to a chrysalis on the surface of the ground, and remains here throughout the summer and part of the following winter.
The colour of the caterpillar is very variable, but is usually pale green with white markings.