Friday, 4 September 2015

Stripes and eyes

I get hopelessly muddled by all the Rustic-type moths but a kindly commentor on my own blog tells me that this beautiful moth below, in the trap this week, is a Six-striped Rustic. I hope that is correct. Meanwhile my wife Penny has added even more lustre to her moth-spotting reputation by finding the Elephant Hawkmoth caterpillar, above, about to pupate in the garden. Very useful for explaining to moth novice friends why the moth is so-named.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon


  1. It is a 6-striped, Martin. In fact, if you include the short one, which is easy to miss, up by the shoulder, there are six stripes. One of those spectacular caterpillars was wandering across a pathway in front of me the other day. Risky behaviour, as boys on their bikes were approaching. To their credit, the boys exclaimed with surprise, accused it of being a slug and swerved to avoid it. I took it home for a photo op and then put it in a flower pot of earth to pupate. Interestingly it walked around for hours before finally burying itself. Dispersal behaviour, presumably, but it remained in the 'open' and I'm surprised it took that risk; after all the adults are such powerful flyers one might expect them to achieve dispersal enough. Andy.

  2. Hi Andrew and many apols for delay in thanking you. That's very interesting about the dispersal aspect of the cattie's behaviour. They certainly fly fast, don't they. I've sometimes taxed them too much with prolonged photography, because they are such lovely colours, and off they shoot, like bullets. All warm wishes, M


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