First recorded Leopard Moth – Zeuzera pyrina
The first recorded Wood Leopard Moth, Zeuzera pyrina, has been made in Highgate Woods in North West London. Native to the UK it is only common in the South but never before in Highgate Woods and it’s natural reintroduction is a sign of increased biodiversity in London.
The larvae feed on the wood of a wide variety of deciduous trees and the “Highgate” Leopard Moth was discovered in the heart wood of an Ash log having entered through decayed outer wood suggesting healthy trees are not the preferred choice.
Recorded food species of Wood Leopard Moth (Wikipedia)
It can be a pest to fruit producers but has natural predators in a re-wilded area.
The Larvae feed internally for two or three years in the stems and branches before emerging to pupate under the bark. When fully grown the larva is about 5 cm long, white and fleshy with black spots and a dark head capsule.
In adult form it is easily recognisable with its distinctive markings including the dots on the head resembling a six on dice. Normally seen in June and July in adult form in Britain.
— Vanessa Amaral-Roger (@Nessalovesbugs) 26 July 2016