Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A new hobby - egg carton watching

The sight of moths is something of a rarity in my garden so far this year. Apart from the odd overwintering adult popping out to see what season it is (occasional singles of Dark Chestnut, Chestnut, Satellite, Agonopterix heracliana), and a lowly Early Moth at the back end of January, the trap has been empty....well except for rainwater that is. On a relatively dry day I deliberately left out the rotting egg-trays hoping they'd dry out and I could squeeze a bit more use out of them as per usual. I forgot about them and they have pretty much become part of the grass surrounding the trap now. However, having decided to have a quick look at them in the vain hope that all the moths I'm not catching were actually being intercepted before the trap by these mushy egg boxes, I have found something quite interesting. Pretty much every egg box had at least one caterpillar in it and this is the same most times I have checked - they appear to be using it as shelter. I have had several Angle Shades and Large Yellow Underwing and a couple I haven't been able to identify yet. The Angle Shades also chew up the egg box and then fill in the cell in which they sit with silk covered in the chewed up egg carton. I assumed this meant they were pupating, but they keep vacating the cells and starting new ones and some of them don't seem large enough yet. Anyway, this is literally the most interesting thing that has happened moth wise so far this year for me, which I think says it all :). Marc Botham

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.