Thursday, 4 June 2015

Ceiling hopper?

Does anyone know what this is? You must have excellent eyesight if so, but here's a much closer photo, taken at considerable peril from a wobbly position on top of a kitchen chair.

Whatever the mystery object is, it was attached by one end to the kitchen ceiling in London of my older son and daughter-in-law - and 18-month-old granddaughter who actually spotted this with her eagle eyesight, always on the lookout for passing aeroplanes, birds and the moon. Her Mum and Dad reported that it had first appeared about a foot away before taking up this position.

My quasi-scientific probes established that a small deposit - glue/cement? - had been left in the original spot; and after cautiously sweeping the strange main thing into a plastic box normally used for the grandchild's chopped-up bits of banana or pear, that we are dealing with something a bit like a chrysalis.

Grasshopperish? The little thing behind it is the cement blob, possibly plus a bit of ceiling paint, gulp

My best guess, from the shape of the creature once detached - the last of the pictures of it - is a grasshopper carapace, shed in perhaps the last of the 'moults' which take place in the manner of lizards or snakes. But do grasshoppers attach themselves like chrysalises to do this. Google, here we come, unless a kind reader has the answer anyway.

Update: with the help of my early morning tea, I deem this to be a Large Nutmeg

We were back late as a consequence of grandparental care and I only put the trap out after 11pm. Although it was a lovely night after much high wind, there were very few guests in the eggboxes. the best of them, which I hope to identify over my morning cups of tea which I must now go and make, is here. There was also a handsome Shears moth, below, which I include because its pair of secateurs is nicely visible.


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin, great blog. Could it not be a bagworm case? Maybe Psyche casta or Epichnopterix plumella on pg 207 of Sterling, Parsons and Lewingtons micromoth book?

Martin Wainwright said...

Brilliant! Thanks so much - you've introduced me to a fascinating little world which I'd previously overlooked. I think that's the likeliest bet. I'll return to the theme in the next post. Alas, I disposed of it in a neighbour's garden so cant conduct further research but everything points that way. MUCH obliged - and I'm glad you enjoy the blog

all warm wishes


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin,
It looks very much like a caddis fly larva, doesn't it?

Mum thinks it's interesting.

I want to leave you some emoticons: 🐛🐞🚀🚢🚟🚏

Anonymous said...

Oops. The above was from Aidan. Secretarial error.

Martin Wainwright said...

Hi there and many thanks. I'm still uncertain of what it is (or was - I put it in the neighbour's garden in case it was some weird beast potentially harmful to the granddaughter). But there are some helpful views on the Upper Thames Moths blog where I also posted the pics. All v best to you both, M