Sunday, 22 May 2011

A drop to drink

I've been at a family gathering in Stow-on-the-Wold where a moth trap wasn't practicable but eagle-eyed nieces, cousins, aunties and other relatives more than made up for that.
Butterflies were surprisingly scarce on a ten-mile walk we ambled along, through the Swells, Lower Slaughter and over Wyck Hill, but we found this recently-vacated chrysalis (that really was eagle-eyed; they're not easy to spot) and the Drinker moth caterpillar above.

I love these, with their Turkish carpet colouring of rich patterns on a velvety blue background. They were also one of the first big catties I found regularly as a boy. That was because of their habit of creeping up large blades of grass to sip the dewdrops at the top, which made them easy to discover - and gives them their name. They tended to pupate soon after capture and then hatch into big yellowy-brown moths which swooped happily away into the Herefordshire countryside.



worm said...

I also used to find plenty of those as they always seemed to be crossing pathways - along with lots of crazy punk vapourer caterpillars too

Anonymous said...

It's very exciting hatching them too, isn't it? You hope (and I expect) that lots of today's kids are getting that experience

All v best