Saturday, July 10, 2004

Cinnabar moth caterpillars

We nurture all sorts of 'weeds' (aka wildflowers) in our garden, under the belief that native plants attract more wildlife – and wildlife is what we want! One plant which I have always been rather fond of (despite having to remove masses of it from my father's horse-field as a kid) is ragwort.
And ragwort attracts Cinnabar moths to lay their eggs, and I have seen a few of the adults around the garden this year.
The caterpillars are familiar stripy beasts which have the habit of hanging around and being easy to observe, so are a fave of my five-year-old daughter and have been since she was little. Up close, they are surprisingly hairy. Here are some pix from last night (9.7.04).

Cinnabar caterpillars on ragwort, Peterborough, 9.7.04.

A closer look at one of the caterpillars.

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