Subject: Caterpillars
Location: Limassol, Cyprus
April 7, 2013 1:45 am
I live in Cyprus where every year, around March, large clumps of black, furry, caterpillars appear in the lawn. They originate in web like stuff about 6-8 inches across. They hatch and stay in a pack until they are about an inch long and then they spread out and go their own separate way.
They are always confused with processionary caterpillars but they are not them. They do not start in a tree and they do not walk in a prcession but they are a similar size and colour. i want to try to educate people that these ones are harmless and stop people from killing them on mass because they fear for their animals etc.
Signature: Helen Coombes

Caterpillars

Caterpillars:  Web-Building Teddy Bears

Dear Helen,
We will attempt to research the identity of your Caterpillars, but for now, the best we can do is this YouTube video on massing Caterpillars from Cyprus.

Caterpillar Mass

Caterpillar Mass

Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist with this identification.  We are also tagging your submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award for your efforts in education your neighbors.

Caterpillar Swarm

Caterpillar Swarm

Update:
Thanks to Ben from Israel who identified these Web Building Teddy Bears as
Ocnogyna loewii.  The moth is pictured on the Greek Butterflies and Moths Team website.


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Location: Limassol, Cyprus

3 Responses to Caterpillar Swarms from Cyprus are Web Building Teddy Bears

  1. Ben from Israel says:

    Hi Helen,
    This looks a lot like Ocnogyna loewii, an unpretentious little moth. The caterpillars all hatch and stay together at first, building a communal ‘tent’. Later, when they are bigger, they disperse.
    Their Hebrew name translates as something like ‘Web-building teddy bears’.
    Don’t handle them! Those hairs covering them are very irritating and can leave a nasty rash!

  2. Ben from Israel says:

    Hi Helen,
    This looks a lot like Ocnogyna loewii, an unpretentious little moth. The caterpillars all hatch and stay together at first, building a communal ‘tent’. Later, when they are bigger, they disperse.
    Their Hebrew name translates as something like ‘Web-building teddy bears’.
    Don’t handle them! Those hairs covering them are very irritating and can leave a nasty rash!

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