Tuesday, 26 April 2016

You can lead a catty to bramble...

Just a bit of amateur science. I bred my last Emperorlets on hawthorn and started off this year's generation on the same. But others' experience here with bramble prompted me to stick in some bramble leaves yesterday as an alternative menu.

Thus far, as you can see above, conservative habits reign.

Is the different colouring translucence? Or are those two eating more (or less)?

One new arrival in the trap: this smart Muslin Moth:

Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon


  1. Hello Martin: Bramble is a bit of a funny foodstuff. It is eaten by a load of insects in captivity - including lots of stick insects. But, unlike perhaps a lot of other things it might be better to feed them old leaves, rather than the fresh new ones - counter-intuitively, perhaps. The thinking behind this is that the new ones are unprotected by thorns and therefore contain toxins or repellents, whereas the old leaves are, theoretically at least , protected by prickles. If the caterpillars have started on Hawthorn already they may be reluctant to change - this happens to some, but not all species.
    Andy. PS - I think you may have two instars there.

  2. Hi Andy - that's really interesting. I will try and see if old leaves appeal, though I'm happy if they want to stick with hawthorn. It's great that they aren't faddy, unlike some of their human counterparts. Interesting too that the paler ones may be a step ahead. All warm wishes and thanks M


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