6183RE: [bugclub] Caterpillar
- Jan 8, 2014
Thanks Reg, Richard suggested the buff-tip too.
I think it’s the best candidate – I can’t remember the larvae in enough detail to say for sure, and I’m certainly overstating the size if so, but that’s no great surprise.
The pattern looks similar.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Bugclubquestions
Sent: 08 January 2014 13:16
Subject: Re: [bugclub] Caterpillar
The only species I can think of at that size and time of year is the Buff-tip. They wii feed on most trees and are gregarious in their early stages so usually around in significant numbers.
Definitely no hawk-moth rear-end spike – first thing I looked for!
Definitely not furry.
Thanks for the pointers Richard, I’ll check them out.
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
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?
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