A pair of Spectacles found inside National Trusts Poltesco Capstan House

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Poltesco Capstan House on The Lizard, Cornwall managed by the National Trust © 2015 Claire Ogden

Caerleon Cove, Poltesco on the Lizard, Cornwall is managed by the National Trust and one of our favourite places to photograph wildlife.

Its diverse surrounding habitat of sea cliffs, heathland and deciduous woodland always seem to provide a good list of wildlife whether it be butterflies, moths, caterpillars or sea birds.

Yesterday was of no exception.

Battered by strong south easterly winds coming off the sea the sheltered nettle beds inside the old Capstan House over looking the beach was searched for caterpillars.

Two Spectacle moth caterpillars as well as a Silver Y and Red Admiral Butterfly caterpillar were found.

The Spectacle moths are rarely seen in daylight but regularly recorded at light traps where those not familiar with them are always amazed to see there ringed ‘spectacle’ eyes.

Some moth names may seem rather strange but at the least it’s easy to understand how the Spectacle moth gets its name.

The similar Dark Spectacle also occurs throughout much of Cornwall.

Head on view of Spectacle Moth (Abrostola tripartita) © 2008 Steve OgdenThe Spectacle moth caterpillar (Abrostola triplasia) on nettle © 2015 Steve Ogden
Other species recorded were a Ring – tailed Harrier on the drive down the Lizard.

Several Red Admiral, Speckled Woods and ‘White’ Butterflies.

Other moth caterpillars included a second generation brood of the Dark Dagger, 2 Coxcomb Prominents and 3 large Fox moth caterpillars basking on the south west coast path.

All these caterpillars can be seen in the caterpillar gallery and the adult moths in the moth gallery