Dendrolimus pini (pine-tree lappet moth)

Dendrolimus pini , the Pine tree lappet moth, is widespread and common in Europe and much of the Palaearctic region, but it has only recently been found to be breeding in Britain.

Unfortunately, this spectacular species can be a serious pest of forestry trees, and there is concern that it will need to be controlled. Pest outbreaks of this species are more likely in hot dry years. 

In contrast, the possibility that it might be an overlooked native species could make it a conservation priority. Further research is needed to clarify its status.

Species detail

  • The first record in Britain was in 2004, when a single moth was seen in the outskirts of Inverness.
  • Two more examples were seen in 2007 in the same general area and several again in 2008.
  • A survey of 3 woods on 27th June 2009 using light-traps produced no less than 49 moths.
  • Other captures bring the total seen in 2009 close to 100.

Curiously, all the specimens recorded so far have been males. Elsewhere in the UK, this species occurs only as a very rare vagrant.

It seems most likely that this species is established as the result of importation with conifers or timber. However, the possibility that it is a previously overlooked resident is not yet disproved. The area in which it has been found is not well known entomologically.

 

  • Female Dendrolimus pini
    Taxonomy

    Discover the common features of Dendrolimus pini and the species it belongs to (Lasiocampidae).

  • Male Dendrolimus pini
    Biology

    Learn about the life cycle and feeding patterns of Dendrolimus pini.

  • Dendrolimus pini
    References

    Get reference material for Dendrolimus pini.

Images

Dendrolimus pini on a pine tree

Pine-tree lappet, Scotland, June 2009

Dendrolimus pini male

Male Pine-tree Lappet moth

Dendrolimus pini female

Female Pine-tree Lappet moth