Scarlet Tiger caterpillars
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It’s always pleasing when a search for a particular species actually pays off without undue hardship ! Last year at a stunning coastal bluebell spot lots of Scarlet Tiger moths, Callimorpha dominula, were noted flying one afternoon in a small … Read More

Caterpillars head to head
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The highlight of last weeks trip to Trevose Lighthouse wasn’t the hoped for spectacular seawatching or early migrant birds this headland often produces but the numbers of caterpillars. On the sheltered south facing bank of the lane leading to the … Read More

Longest caterpillar in the British Isles
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Goat Moth Caterpillar Some fascinating caterpillar identification requests continue to arrive. This huge Goat Moth (Cossus cossus) caterpillar was sent in by Paul Sellens who had been reviewing images he’d taken last summer. At 100mm in length only the caterpillar … Read More

Overwintering moth caterpillars
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Over wintering caterpillars such as Oak Eggar, Drinker, Garden Tiger and Fox Moth are some of the hairy caterpillars seen in the last few days in various coastal sites here in the far south west of Cornwall. These early post-hibernating … Read More

Overwintering butterfly caterpillars
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Marsh Fritillary caterpillars It always seems remarkable how many species of caterpillars manage to survive the winter – particularly the last one! With the appearance of the sun several species of butterfly caterpillars have emerged from over wintering. Good numbers … Read More

Monster caterpillars
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It’s that time of the year when Hawkmoth caterpillars are on the move looking for somewhere to pupate in the soil. The caterpillars of Eyed Hawkmoth, Poplar Hawk-moth, Lime Hawkmoth, Privet Hawkmoth and Elephant Hawk-moth have all been see in … Read More

Clover feeding butterfly caterpillars
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The Clouded Yellow Butterfly (Colias croceus) caterpillars being reared from collected eggs are growing rapidly and have been joined by an unexpected arrival. Clovers brought in from the garden three weeks ago to feed them happened to have a tiny … Read More

Red Admiral Butterfly egg and chrysalis
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One butterfly that appears to doing well is the stunning Red Admiral Butterfly 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 … Read More

Slender Burnished Brass, Thysanoplusia orichalcea
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Caterpillars on Supermarket produce immediately raise the possibility that they have been imported from a foreign country. So on receiving images of several caterpillars on supermarket mint from Anneli in West Berkshire I was naturally suspicious but also curious. A … Read More

Chamomile Shark caterpillar, Cucullia chamomillae
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The fully grown Chamomile Shark caterpillar is one of the most striking and easily identified caterpillars to be found in the British Isles. The caterpillar shown right was spotted on Sea Mayweed on the cliffs at Porth Joke, near Newquay. … Read More

Caterpillars found on Figwort, Buddleia and Mullein plants
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The caterpillars we’ve received the most identification requests for in recent weeks have been the Mullein Moth caterpillar and the The Vapourer Moth caterpillar, Orgyia antiqua. The Mullein moth caterpillar is particularly easy to identify with its strikingly bold yellow … Read More

Caterpillar identification update
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Amongst the many commonly seen hairy caterpillar identification requests recently received have been some more exotically marked caterpillars. The most common has been the stunning Vapourer Moth (Orgyia antiqua) caterpillar reported in several different growth stages, known as instars. It’s … Read More

Caterpillars in silk web spun on Hawthorn at Penhale Sands, Cornwall
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During a search for Lackey moth webs at Penhale Sands we came across three small webs containing hundreds of tiny caterpillars. Although too early to be certain of the caterpillars identity, being on Hawthorn suggests they are likely to be … Read More

Caterpillar safety warning
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Amongst the caterpillar identification enquires received in the last few days was this one from Karen. ‘Are these Brown-tail Moths? Have hundreds in our tree in the garden’ Well, the brown hairs of the larvae in Karen’s photo, shown left, … Read More

Magpie Moth Caterpillar on silk thread
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This Magpie Moth caterpillar abseiled down a silk thread as I was planting a Clematis in the garden. Not only is it one of the most distinctive caterpillars of the large Geometridae family of moths but it is also easily … Read More

Hairy caterpillar crossing road
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This Cream-spot Tiger moth caterpillar was about to be run over by cars on the busy St Ives to Lands End coastal road. Having stopped the traffic to rescue it from impending disaster I placed it in a pot with … Read More

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