Saturday, 20 October 2012

One who lies, falls or crawls with limbs spread out

This is the dictionary definition of a Sprawler. And there is a moth which has this name - I guess that this is because its caterpillar bends itself backwards so its legs stick out in front.
So, yes, there was one in the trap this morning.


Also, new to the site was a Winter moth - hopefully not an omen. - and this is, of course a male. How do we know that? Well, the females do not have wings (poor things). They hatch out and stay on the tree trunks, waithing for the males to arrive - and you know the rest.

Winter Moth

A micro moth which I have so far failed to identify was in the trap too.  Any offers please?

Diurnea lipsiella

If you walk down the hill from the Rectory wood car park, there are just 2 ragwort plants on your left hand side, both still in flower. I have looked at these several times recently, but yesterday there was a small larva feeding on the floweer heads. This is the larva of a Golden-rod Pug.

                                                               Golden-rod Pug larva

How do you identify an unknown caterpillar? Google "Larval foodplants", choose the Natural History museum listing, click on the foodplant box (unfortunately you have to know that Ragwort is called Senecio jacobaea) and there is a list of the moths which eat it. From there you can search the excellent site and there it is.

This post has been updated to add the name of the micromoth

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