Wednesday 2 July 2014

Caterpillar ID required

 I came across this larva on 8 6 14 half a mile up the road towards Newquay from Cwm Tydi. It was on a blackthorn bush by the cattle grid. It was all alone. There were no signs of an old festoon and no twigs stripped of leaves. Back in 2007 I had found a very similar looking Yellow-tail larva a few hundred yards away down the track (and sent the record in). The larva was quite well behaved, ie it didn't curl into a ball, fall to the ground and disappear. So I took a lot of photos hoping for at least one good one. However it was rather mobile.
 It wasn't until I downloaded the photos and had a good look at them that I decided it was a Brown-tail. The distinguishing marks are these bright red spots on the dorsal surface of segmrnts 9 and 10. See Plate 27 Q in Jim Porter's caterpillar book. There is an even better picture in Chris Manley's lovely new book 'British Moths and Butterflies a photographic guide'. Pge 304. A whole swarm of them about the same instar.
 The confirmation is required as there are no previous Ceredigion records. (None in Pembs vicecounty either).
  I hope some off-field adjudicator will come through to the ref: ( Peter Walter Davies) 'You may award a try'.
   Peter Byles, a Pembs moth-er.


1 comment:

  1. Peter, I think this is more likely to be a Yellow Tail caterpillar. I found one exactly the same feeding on Thrift at the back of the beach at Cwm Soden couple of years ago on June 20th. The final instar of the yellowTail has those two brighter spots as you point out and checking my verified pic it shares that feature with yours.


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