Friday, 19 May 2017

Tiger Larva

Larva of Jersey Tiger, Euplagia quadripunctaria.  Hayes, 10 May 2017.
Larva of Jersey Tiger, Euplagia quadripunctaria.  Hayes, 10 May 2017.
 Look at this little beauty, which I found curled up among some bits of grass and other plants I was pulling up. 

Larva of Jersey Tiger, Euplagia quadripunctaria.  Hayes, 10 May 2017.
Larva of Jersey Tiger, Euplagia quadripunctaria.  Hayes, 10 May 2017.
It was curled up and took a long time to uncurl.  It's the caterpillar of a Jersey Tiger moth, a very showy creature that I see large numbers of in my light trap for a few weeks in early summer.  They used to be rare in this area, but no longer.

They are increasing in numbers.  Here's a post on Jersey Tiger moths from 2012, when they turned up in twos and threes.  Last year I had over 30 in my trap one day.

These caterpillars are not fussy about what they eat.

Bright colours are usually a warning to predators that the bright creatures are poisonous or distasteful.  Those hairs have a reputation for being very irritating.  They look a lot like the small spines on some cacti, that can get stuck in your skin and are indeed irritating, so I was not tempted to handle it.

I saw another caterpillar recently, and it's in this post of Jubilee Country Park photos.  That's what you would normally expect a caterpillar to look like.


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