Monday, 26 May 2014

Nursery World

I feared that I had suffered my first loss in the Thrupp Emperor Moth Nursery last week when one little caterpillar left the others clustered together, took up a lonely station on the side of the Tupperware box and remained motionless for two days. But instead of being dead, as I feared, he or she was simply getting ready to slough off his or her first skin, an operation also performed by the other catties, a couple of whom are shown above among abandoned skins.

Meanwhile, after last week's admirably complex investigation into the Dog's Tooth/Pale-shouldered Brocade mystery, I am hoping that Det Insps Wilton, Hall and Botham will concur that below is a Bright-line, Brown-eye. It is still asleep in an eggbox at the time of writing but will no doubt take its leave before dusk. Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon


  1. Hi Martin, no controversy over that one, thank goodness! Yes to Bright-line Brown-eye.

    My Emperors are currently on their third instar and are each about an inch long. As you say, they take a couple of days to shed their skins and don't feed over that period, normally clustering together on a stem of the food-plant. Best not to disturb them while that happens.

  2. My Emperors are still hatching and I now have around a billion I think. This has happened over the past 10 days depending on where I kept the eggs (inside or out). They do get around for such small black furry blobs and are already defoliating half a hawthorn bush per day.


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