Despite comparatively low numbers seen earlier in the year the nettle tents containing the caterpillars seem to be quite common now.
The Red Admiral Caterpillars are seldom seen as they spend most of the time inside a nettle tent that they cleverly stitch together with silk.
As they grow they move to larger leaves and create a bigger tent
The speed that they can construct a new tent would put a few of our house builders to shame!
The image shown left is of a Red Admiral caterpillar chrysalis reared from an egg (shown below) laid on a nettle in the garden
The egg was laid on the 12th July and the caterpillar pupated on the 4th August.
Exposing the pupa will not impact on the butterflies survival as it is inside a protective rearing cage where birds and parasites cannot reach it.
The butterfly is expected to emerge any day now and will then be released into the garden.