Monday 8 March 2021

Small Eggar Emergence.

 Since first finding a new colony of Small Eggar on my patch back in 2017 I have been hoping to finally see an adult moth. Finding the colony was a very significant find as the species is thought to be extinct in West Sussex and not far off that in East Sussex. 

The larval webs are large and obvious, a bit of a problem for them if any Cuckoos are about I guess as each larva would be a tasty snack. Each web can hold large numbers of the larva and as last year I found 58 webs I decided that there were so many larvae I could try and rear a few through to adult moths, which could well be the only way I would ever see an adult as the colony is almost certainly too far away for one to make it to the garden trap.

In the end I brought 7 near fully grown larvae home to rear. One that I called Houdini somehow managed to escape, but the other 6 all eventually pupated and then it was a waiting game hoping they would hatch in the following Spring. This species have been known to stay as a pupa for several years and it is thought that most take 2 years to hatch in the wild.

Of the 6 pupa I have now had 3 emerge as adult moths, 2 male and 1 female. I was hoping that the female would be mated by one of the males but unfortunately neither male seemed interested??

I have been holding back posting this in case the others hatch, but with it being 2 weeks since the 3 hatched it looks as though either they are not going to hatch at all or it will be another year before they do. I was also hoping to find an egg mass on the bushes where the webs were last year.

22nd May 2020. 2 groups basking in the sun.

4th June 2020. 

A Fully Grown Small Eggar Larva.

6 Small Eggar Pupa. (Note the small holes which are needed so the insect can breathe).
Female pupa slightly larger.

Female Small Eggar.

Male Small Eggar.


  1. Espectaculares fotos, muy muy interesantes. Un abrazo.

  2. Very interesting Bob. The female dosen't look too healthy in the photo. Do you think there may have been something wrong with her and that is why the males werent interested ?

    1. That is possible David. I too thought she didn't look brilliant, but other images I've seen of females do also look similar? She was certainly able to flap around!!