Friday, 6 February 2015

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I had an email from a friend in the village this afternoon, with two picture attachments showing a fat green juicy caterpillar on plants in his conservatory. Chris Cooke was wondering if this was an Angle Shades caterpillar, and as it was in my 1km square though I may want to head down to have a look.

Angle Shades larva - photo by Chris Cooke

The caterpillar had been found in the Cooke's conservatory, where it had found a particular fondness for Pelargoniums. Despite the consternation of the damage to the plants, Chris was obviously pleased to have found and identified the caterpillar. Angle Shades is a common moth which can be found at any stage of its life cycle at any time of year, but is still a spectacular moth.

Caterpillar damage to Pelargoniums

I was really pleased that Chris told me about this house guest, partly because I had not seen the caterpillar before and partly because it has been very quiet on the moth front. I did get a nice surprise yesterday morning when, despite the freezing overnight temperatures, this Mottled Grey (one of my absolute favourite moths) was attracted to the moth trap. I am still missing a couple of the obvious late winter species though and time is running out...

Mottled Grey

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