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

Emerging Angle Shades moth (Phlogophora meticulosa)
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This Angle Shades moth emerged from its pupa on the 11th April. The caterpillar was found in the garden on March 8th and brought inside to rear through. Despite being an easily reared species and one that is both common … Read More

Cornwall Lepidoptera Breeding Group
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An exciting new Cornwall butterfly and moth breeding group has been set up. The main aims of the group are to establish a centre where the methods of breeding native Cornish species of lepidoptera can be learnt and then passed … Read More

Bright Green Caterpillar
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A caterpillar of the Angle Shades moth, Phlogophora meticulosa, was dug up while preparing the vegetable bed for planting of early lettuces. Despite being covered will soil it was a brilliant green and easily noticed amongst the leaf litter. I … Read More

Oak Eggar moth caterpillars
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A trip to Porthgwarra, a top sea-watching site on the extreme south west coast of Cornwall near Land’s End produced nothing noteworthy save two moth caterpillars! Only common seabirds were recorded and on the surrounding cliffs two Chough, a Black … Read More

Convolvulus Hawk-moth caterpillar identification
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Amongst last week’s batch of caterpillar queries was a real surprise. Peter Harvey of Bognor Regis sent this photo taken in his garden of a large caterpillar. At this time of year large caterpillar queries received are usually identified as … Read More

Moth Caterpillars: Mullein Wave
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This Mullein Wave moth caterpillar was found on bare soil beside the South West Coast Path on the Lizard at the weekend. Looking like a tiny brown twig hanging from the side of an eroded bank we only noticed it … Read More

British moth pupae
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Even digging the garden has its moments! Two golden pupae were uncovered in the flower beds and they will be kept to see what species of moth emerges. Insight into Moth pupa: Many species of British moths have larvae that … Read More

British caterpillars: Buff Ermine
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This caterpillar was racing across the paving in our garden in Falmouth at the weekend. It’s not always easy to identify caterpillars but this has some distinctive markings and was in very good light which helps, even though it was … Read More

British caterpillars in Cornwall: The Mullein
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These very distinctive yellow, black and white caterpillars are now almost fully grown and easily spotted on their foodplants such as Great Mullein. This one was found in the Penhale sand dunes on the north Cornish coast and, despite being … Read More

British caterpillars – The Cinnabar
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Orange and black striped caterpillars of The Cinnabar moth are common at Penhale Dunes on the north Cornwall coast at the moment. Some Common Ragwort plants held over fifty of these boldly coloured larvae and many plants had already been … Read More

Painted Lady caterpillars
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These are considered British caterpillars despite the adult butterfly being a migrant that cannot survive UK winters. The small numbers of Painted Lady butterflies seen earlier this year will have laid eggs and the hatched caterpillars should now be large … Read More

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