Wednesday, 16 January 2019

No fliers, just crawlers

Being relatively mild last night I was hopeful that some moths would fly to the garden trap. However, this morning I found that the only 2 moths in the trap had crawled in rather than flown!

I very rarely find caterpillars in my trap, so I was a bit surprised to find 2 of them. I guess one would need to rear them on in order to identify them? I have returned them to the safety of my garden undergrowth.

Steve Trigg, Cookham


  1. Those look to me like Angle Shades again, Steve, and I suspect they're both fully grown and looking for somewhere to pupate. Like the adult, the caterpillars can be found at any time of year and there are different colour forms (have a look at Reg Fry's UK Leps website in the list of links on the right hand column of this page). I found a Large Yellow Underwing caterpillar on the lawn last night and that's another species which can often be seen on milder nights in winter.

    Thankfully we are due to get a long-overdue caterpillar field guide in 2020 with illustrations by Richard Lewington. One hopes that it will show colour variations like this as well as significant differences (if there are any) between the various instars. That was the main failing of Porter's 1997 guide which only illustrated the final instar.

  2. Thanks Dave. I did wonder if they were 2 different colour forms of the same species.


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