Saturday, 29 May 2010

Drinker moth

Mark has been looking after a group of Drinker moth caterpillars at the Centre. They live in a mesh tower and eat the coarse 'cocksfoot' grasses that are their food plants. The caterpillars are quite large and hairy with a small horn at each end. Cuckoos are probably their main enemy in the wild - as most birds will not eat hairy caterpillars.

The caterpillars hibernate through the winter, and apparently give the moth its name because they can be seen drinking dew from the grass.

The adult moths are a rather dull brown with orangish furry bodies and a white mark on each forewing.

Adult drinker photo by Reg the Birder

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