Sunday, 25 August 2013


While out collecting Blackberries the other day, we stumbled upon a rather handsome caterpillar on one of the bushes.  With its colourful red spots, purple-grey body and hairs in clumps all over the place, it was a spectacular sight and one with which I was not familiar.  a little digging about on the Internet and I soon found it to be the lava of a moth called The Vapourer (Orgyia antiqua).
The adult of this species is, to say the least, a little plain.  Reddish-brown in colour with just a couple of white spots on the wings, the male moth can be seen usually during the day, but the female moth is flightless and stays attached to her cocoon for the whole of her brief life.  Plain, is certainly not a word one could use to describe the lava however.  They like to feed on the leaves of the Blackberry bush among others, so this individual was well at home here.  Another tick for my list!
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