Local in scrub, hedgerows, parks and gardens, along the coasts on England from Yorkshire to the Isles of Scilly. In Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight formerly confined to a few coastal localities, notably Hayling Island, this species has recently and suddenly greatly increased its range. Larval nests are now plentiful in winter along the coast, mainly on hawthorn, bramble and blackthorn, and it is extending its range inland. Wingspan male 36-42 mm, female 39-41 mm. Larva feeds on Bramble, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Dog-rose and Sallow, living gregariously within a silken web, causing sufficient damage to be a serious pest in some areas. The larval hairs are extremely irritating, causing rashes on exposed parts of the skin.