This first caterpillar is one that I knew existed as I've seen enough photos of it on the internet whilst trying to ID other ones, so recognised it immediately. This first one was on a raspberry leaf (and welcome to eat it) and the second one I saw was just mooching around in my weedy grass.
|Lackey Moth (Malacosoma neustria) caterpillar.|
|Lackey Moth (Malacosoma neustria) caterpillar again - it's a big one!|
One of my favourite caterpillars which I only discovered last year chomping on one of those enormous hairy grey leafed Verbascums is the Mullein Moth caterpillar. This time though I was surprised to find a number on a tall wildflower in my chicken run. This plant only appeared last year and is now in large numbers in the runs, and although it has only tiny insignificant flowers, it's loved by honey bees and all sizes of bumble bee. It's too tall for the hens to get at any of these insects so a good plant to have there. It is Common Figwort (Scrophularia nodosa) and is of the same family as Verbascums (aka Mulleins), Scrophulariaceae.
|Mullein Moth (Cucullia verbasci) caterpillar.|
|Mullein Moth (Cucullia verbasci) caterpillar showing its back end.|
|And here's one I took last year when it was munching Verbascum. |
This time the Mullein Moth caterpillar is showing its front end.
|This is the Yellow-tail Moth (Euproctis similis) caterpillar which turns into a pretty moth which|
I've not yet seen. Quite often the colourful and hairy caterpillars turn into rather drab adults!
Here are a few moths that I've snapped here and there over the last few weeks. Without their wings spread out I couldn't begin to try to ID them, but I managed to get the one on the right! They are all small ones.
|I was happy to find this little cutie whilst weeding! |
It's a Small Mapgie Moth (Eurrhypara hortulata) and I disturbed it whilst weeding.
It's sheltering under a cranesbill geranium leaf.
|Large Yellow Underwing Moth (Noctua pronuba) whose larvae are those pesky pests called|
cutworms! I've disturbed two whilst weeding recently so I did get to see
those beautiful underwings, but unfortunately not for a photo.
But the star of the show and a very exciting find was the one below. I could squeal and say it's a lifer but most moths would be lifers for me so I am only going to count new butterflies and birds as lifers .... or maybe hawkmoths.... or a Clifden Nonpareil. I think you get the picture, anyway! :-)
|A Cream-spot Tiger Moth (Epicallia villica) on my hand.|
|Cream-spot Tiger Moth (Epicallia villica) - from what I read the females fly during the day |
as well as at night, but the males only fly at night. So I can deduce that this is a female.
|Cream-spot Tiger Moth (Epicallia villica) - just love those antennae!|
So now I have seen three different Tiger moths, the Garden Tiger once last year and the Jersey Tiger which is a common visitor to my garden in the summer.