Wednesday 18 May 2011

Peacock Butterfly Caterpillars

The rock pooling was impossible today due to high tide, but we followed Malcolm's advice and searched through the nettles at Port Mor, looking for Peacock Butterfly eggs which I told everyone looked a bit like tiny gooseberries. Darcy was the first person to find them, but they weren't eggs anymore, they had just hatched into tiny black caterpillars, lots of them. It was a very exciting moment.

But there was more to come when Darcy (again) called over that she'd found more caterpillars that looked a bit different. This time they were Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars which also feed on nettles. I was ecstatic! The ones shown above are the Peacock caterpillars; the Small Tortoiseshell ones didn't come out but I'll try again tomorrow.

We have taken a few of each species to put in our butterfly pavilion at the centre. Do come and have a look when we open next week.


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