I have found myself with a new nursery of schoolroom of voracious caterpillars which hatched from the clutch of eggs laid by an unknown moth in the light-trap a fortnight ago. They hatched just before we left for three days in Suffolk and I crammed a variety of leaves and grasses into a box with them to munch on in my absence. It included cricket willow which is what they seem to prefer.
Above is one of them roaming round the box, a little close to some spidery fabric which suggests that other creatures may have infiltrated with my leaves. Not harmful ones, I hope. I am monitoring. I have no idea what the caterpillars are but hope to identify them as they get bigger. I have a record of most of the moths which overnighted at the time, so with luck that will narrow the field. Here are the eggs, below.
|One ace performer: Elephant Hawk|
|And another: Privet, the UK's largest native moth as discussed in my last pre-Suffolk post, Big Boy|
The moths flew away unharmed from both occasions and, I think, left behind a number of potential converts to the hobby, plus the chance to explain how small the pernicious clothes moths are in proportion to the whole, wide and wonderful moth-y world. Meanwhile here are some of the other visitors to Saturday night's trap. Last night, I gave them all a rest.
|Puss moth, getting a bit frayed|
|A Flame Shoulder, showing its lovely maroon, in a huddle with a Spectacle and a Flame|
|I need to look these up|
|That pretty moth, the Coronet, nuzzling a Pale Tussock|
|A couple of Minors, the lower one a Least (I think) with another chap whose ID I'll hope to have shortly - familiar but not on the tip of my tongue|