Monday, 27 January 2014


The trees are alive with catkins, on Alder, Hazel and more to come soon. So, it being a reasonable day we had a visit to Gogbatch - well, that's what we call it!

The Alder trees were covered in catkins so a few went in a pot for inspection at home.
With a x10 or better lens, it is easy to see if there any small holes in the catkins - and if there are it generally means there is a caterpillar inside. Later you can see frass on the catkin - (frass = caterpillar poo).

Here is a photo showing exactly that, and if you are lucky you may also see the caterpillar come out to have a look at the rest of the world.
Alder catkin

And yes, luck was in.
Larvae from above catkin

The problem now is to try and identify the moth species of this caterpillar and of course there is a choice. The easiest choice is to wait until it turns into a moth, but there is always the chance that it will not survive. At the moment, there is still the chance as it has pupated. All I have to do now is ensure that it does not go mouldy!
And the guess at the moment is Argyresthia goedartella, but it may be brockeella.

Although I have collected several Hazel catkins, I have yet to find a larva.


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