Caterpillars on Lichen
Some lichen feeding caterpillars are so cryptically well marked that searching for them just by staring moronically for hour upon hour into a hedge is a thankless task.
Tell me about it!
Thankfully, there is an easier way to record such secretive and well camouflaged caterpillars.
The best way to record them is by placing a white sheet beneath a lichen covered branch and giving it a very firm tap with a stick.
At the weekend, this method, known as beating, was rewarded with two cryptically marked Brussels Lace caterpillars, Cleorodes lichenaria.
These 12mm long, half grown caterpillars would have otherwise gone undetected amongst the lichen coated branches of the blackthorn hedge.
They can vary in colour according to their surroundings and these light green and black forms blended beautifully into the lichen.