Thaumetopoea processionea

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migrating Thaumetopoea processionea larvae (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Thaumetopoea processionea (Linnaeus, 1758) - (oak processionary moth)

The moth is a defoliator of oak trees in Europe and surrounding regions. Its distribution range extends up to the southern parts of Sweden in the north and to southern parts of Russia and parts of western Asia in the east. Outbreaks can turn into a major health hazard. The barbed and toxic hairs of the caterpillars cause allergic reactions in humans. They break of easily and can become airborne, causing dermatitis as well as pharyngitis when inhaled.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Eichenprozessionsspinner
• English: oak processionary moth
• Español: procesionaria de la encina
• Français: processionnaire du chêne

The nocturnal adult moths have a wingspan of around 3 cm. Control methods include areal spraying of Bt and removing nests using vacuum devices.

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.