British Wildlife Wiki

Male Lackey ~

The Lackey (Malacosoma neustria) is a moth in the family Lasiocampidae.


This species is small for a Lasiocampid, with females being about an inch long. The females are larger than males, which, but are otherwise similar. This species ranges from straw to a dark brown, and like most moths, males have furry antennae. When resting, part of the hindwing can be seen near the thorax. This species flies in Summer.

Similar Species[]

The Ground Lackey is very similar, but the cross-lines are less wavy in the Lackey. The Ground Lackey is also much scarcer. The Grass and Oak Eggar are larger, and have a white dot on the forewings.


This species is widespread in southern and central Britain, often found in a range of habitats, including gardens, and come to light.


The larvae are distinctive, being blue with black, white and orange lines running down the body. The larvae is covered in fine hairs. When in the first few instars, this species lives in a larval tent, but later leaves. The larvae can be seen during the Spring and Summer. The larvae feed on various shrubs and trees, including Hawthorn and Apple.