Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Silk Caterpillars Rain Down Hell on a Honda

Under a giant silk cocoon created by an army of caterpillars, the shape of a Honda is just about visible. The car was mistaken as food by spindle ermine larvae, which had already begun to strip a nearby tree of its leaves.Spindle ermines weave silk webs to protect themselves from birds and wasps, allowing them to gorge on leaves for six weeks before transforming into butterflies. 

Eight species live in Britain and their webs can be seen throughout the country.

Their favoured tree is the spindle - which is often used in car parks and for lining motorways.
Stuart Hine of the Natural History Museum said: 'It only takes a few days. But we aren't talking about anything from Indiana Jones here.
‘They can bear a bit of weight but the car owner will be able to back the car out and clean it.' 

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