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6181Re: [bugclub] Caterpillar

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  • Richard Comont
    Jan 7, 2014
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      Not too many candidates at 4 inches long!  The hawk moths (all larvae have a horn at the back end), Lasiocampidae (furry), and maybe a few of the larger remaining species (Red Underwing, Old Lady, Emperor, perhaps), but the one that sounds most likely, albeit smaller, is Buff-tip.  The UKMoths site has caterpillar pics – have a look through
      Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 1:23 PM
      Subject: [bugclub] Caterpillar

      Hi BugClub,

      Bit of a forlorn hope this one, but you never know . . .

      Autumn before last, I found a tree that was infested with caterpillars.

      Not that yucky silk-web kind of infested, just that there were lots of caterpillars on this tree, and it was only a small tree, 10 or 12 feet high.

      The caterpillars were not very well marked – a bit like the larvae of the large white butterfly, quite pale, but with no easily-defined markings or easily-described pattern.

      But they were large – easily 4 inches long.

      I thought I might be able to identify them by the food plant, but I didn’t recognise the tree either; I think it was some kind of nut tree.

      It was in a tiny front garden in a grubby terrace in Swanscombe, North Kent.

      I didn’t have my camera with me, and by the time I was next in the area, they had all gone.

      Next year, they cut the tree down.

      The reason I haven’t asked before is that the question is so vague: What kind of caterpillar grows to 4 inches long, has vague markings, and lives on an unknown tree?

      Anyone any theories?

      Many thanks,

      Comma Oil  Chemicals Limited
      Head Office
      30 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4UY
      Operations Plant
      Dering Way, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2QX (Registered in England: Number 2075698. Registered Office as above)
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