Tuesday 20 July 2010

Emperor and Cinnabar moth caterpillars

The black and yellow banded Cinnabar moth (Callimorpha jacobaeae) caterpillars were feeding on Ragwort.  It was generally agreed that it was good that Ragwort has some good uses - like feeding very hungry caterpillars - because it is not very good for horses if they eat it.

This is a lovely Emperor Moth caterpillar (Saturnia pavonia) also found on the bug hunt.  It was eating bramble leaves.

It is, as you can see, a very large caterpillar indeed.  When he (or she) was first picked up he squirted some stuff at us, and then rolled into a ball and refused to come out again.  We think the squirting must have been some sort of defense mechanism to deter predators.  It certainly deterred some young bug-hunters!!

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