NATIVE RANGE: East Asia
FIRST FINDING IN SLOVENIA: 2011
PATHWAYS: transported with traded box-tree saplings
POSSIBLE TO FIND: April – September
FLIGHT SEASON OF ADULTS: April – September
DESCRIPTION: A moth with a wingspan of 3–4 cm. The wings are off-white and slightly iridescent with a dark brown outer edge. On the front wings, there is a white spot. Females lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves of box trees (Buxus spp.). Young caterpillars are green, becoming browner later. Along their body, they have black and white stripes, and warty excrescences. They are hairy and measure up to 4 cm, feeding on box tree leaves. Often present in large numbers, they produce white spiderweb-like silk threads and box trees may die because of the damage. The moths overwinter as early instar larvae among the leaves.
HABITAT: Box tree moths occur on various box tree species (Buxus spp.) and can be found in natural habitats as well as urban settings and plant nurseries.
STATUS: Spreading rapidly throughout whole of Europe. Common.
SIMILAR SPECIES: In Europe, there are no similar moth species. The drying of box tree foliage may also be caused by the fungi Cylindrocladium buxicola and Volutella buxi, but in case of a fungal disease there are no spiderweb-like silk threads.