This is another big caterpillar -- about the size and thickness of your thumb. By Rebecca Perring PUBLISHED: 06:01, Sat, … One of several similar species is Zaraea fasciata. Larval Foodplants. • Some caterpillars can be poisonous, taking their poison from the food they eat. The silver birch tree … CATERPILLARS are plaguing gardens across the UK and destroying one of Britain’s most common plants - the box tree - in just a matter of days. They are the Yellownecked caterpillar, often found on birch and other deciduous trees. The silver birch, also known as the white birch, grows from 40 to 50 feet in height with a slender trunk that seldom exceeds a foot in diameter. The caterpillar is the growing stage in the insect’s life and it will moult several times to enable its body to expand.The stage between each moult is called an instar and most species undergo this process four to six times. The feature that distinguishes it from the rest of the birch trees is its flaking sliver/white bark. There is a single row of black dots along the side of the body. Many exotic species of birch are planted in urban settings throughout the UK, including the Himalayan Paper Birch , … ... as they ate their way through the silver birch leaf. A caterpillar frequently found in gardens and the countryside is the caterpillar of a sawfly often referred to as the The Honeysuckle Sawfly. The Maryland Cooperation Extension refers to the larvae as "gregarious" and notes that the insects-to-be generally feed in groups, with the edges of leaves being devoured first. The galleries of Butterfly caterpillars, Moth caterpillars and Sawfly caterpillars contain images of many of the caterpillars most likely to be seen in the British Isles. It's closely related to the cecropia moth (above). Galleries for many other parts of the world are being added including North America, The United States and Canada , Africa and Asia. These caterpillars are prey to just about every predatory insect, bird, reptile, amphibian, and animal out there so I wouldn't worry too awfully much about what you need to do. A black edged bluish stripe runs along the middle of the larva's back for the length of its body. The solitary larvae feed on Silver Birch leaves between June and September and can grow up to 45mm in length. As big as they are, they are really hard to see among the foliage when they're resting. Caterpillars have been spotted 'dancing' to put off predators as they eat their way through a leaf. This page lists the larval foodplants used by British and Irish butterflies. Always found in hoards, unfortunately, which can be kind of disconcerting. Fully grown larvae can appear similar to caterpillars and are yellow-green with black spots along their sides. They use it to scare predators away, so be careful. Silver Birch is one of two native birches, the other being Downy Birch, Betula pubescens. 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