Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Dogs and Daggers

I have made mention of the proliferation of berries, quite often lately, but at the risk of being boring, here is another.  The Dogwood shrubs (Cornus sanguinea) are also producing lots of berries at the moment.  These berries are different from most others as they are black.
The berries are a favourite of many of our small mammals and birds and so are often planted around gardens and farms which grow soft fruit, as the Dog-berries are eaten before the cultivated fruit.
Crawling around on the leaves of this particular Dogwood, was an attractive little caterpillar.  Hairy, colourful and with two strange black humps on its back, it is the larva of the Grey Dagger Moth (Acronicta psi).
Far more colourful than the rather dull, brown moth it will eventually become.  The scientific name psi refers to the markings on the wings of the adult moth, which resemble the Greek letter Psi 'ψ'.
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