Seq # 520110020

Eriogaster lanestris (Linnaeus, 1758) Species

Last modified: June 30, 2021, 2:49 p.m.

A very rare and very local species in Belgium, only known from some localities in the southern provinces.
Adults are not often seen, but larvae in their communal webs are frequently found.


Family: Lasiocampidae > Subfamily: Lasiocampinae > Tribus: Eriogastrini > Genus: Eriogaster > Subgenus: Eriogaster > Species: Eriogaster lanestris
Vernacular names
Wolspinner (NL), Small Eggar (EN), La Laineuse du Cerisier (FR), Frühlings-Wollafter (DE)
First mention in Belgium
De Sélys-Longchamps E. 1837. Catalogue des Lépidoptères ou Papillons de la Belgique, précédé du tableau des Libellulines de ce pays. — — : 1–29. On page 25.




Museum specimens

Specimens in nature



The eggs are deposited in a group at a terminal shoot of the foodplant and covered with a spinning in which the hairs of the abdominal last segment of the female are used. The caterpillars live gregariously in a tough, white, silken web from where the feed on the adjacent leaves. The species hibernates in the pupal stages and sometimes the pupa hibernates several times.
The adults are active at night and come to light.

Flight periods

One generation a year: from late February till early April.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Prunus spinosa
Host plant (genera):

The larva lives on Crataegus and Prunus spinosa.

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Xerothermic slopes, road sides, meadows lined with Prunus spinosa and Crataegus.

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