THIS WAS ON MY PLUM TREE
This is the caterpillar of the White Admiral butterfly (ladoga camilla). It has some disgusting habits. Underneath that dark coat, the caterpillar is actually green, but it coats itself in its own droppings, to provide camouflage. This one is a late hatcher. It should have been a mature butterfly by the end of July.
It will soon find some foliage (preferably Honeysuckle) and will anchor itself there to form a chrysalis, relying on leaves and twigs for protection. The butterfly should emerge in about 16 days. If it does metamorphose, it probably won't survive.
27 Aug, 2009
Wow disgusting habits or no it is an amazing beastie. Bigbumblebee can you recommend a good basic book on butterflies and moths?
I've always wondered how long butterflies live but have never got round to looking it up.....Bigbumblebee - do different butterflies have different life expectancies?
I'll answer your question first, Cestina. The average life of an adult butterfly is six weeks. Apart from the Monarch, they are non-migratory, and any eggs, caterpillars or chrysalises left at the end of summer, rarely survive the winter. Sometimes a late maturing adult will survive the winter in a frostfree shed or building, but it will be weak on emerging and not survive for more than a day, due to lack of food supplies and food reserves in its body.
Moon grower. If you can, get hold of the Field Guide to Butterflies of Great Britain, published by Readers Digest. It's a bit pricy but worth every penny.
The Observer's Book of Butterflies and Moths will stand you in good stead for basic info. re colouring, distribution and identification.
Hope this helps.
x x x
sorry dont like moths and butterflies
catterpillars arent usually a problem but this one is freaky
Sorry to intrude
it looks a lot like a tussock moth caterpillar
28 Aug, 2009
I'm pretty certain its your grandad's eyebrow which became detached during the storms of last year.
How do I say thanks?
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