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14 August 2013

14 August – From Green to Gold

Larvae of the White Satin Moth (Leucoma salicis)

Four days after emerging from the capsule (shown on the right) the White Satin moth caterpillars are munching willow leaves with enthusiastic precision.  Each cellular section is eaten and the leaf becomes an intricate and delicate ornament of filigree – the colour even looks like gold.  There must be eighty of these tiny munchers so many will be liberated into the garden in a few days.  Already the heart-shape markings on their backs are beginning to be defined.  They nibbled at the sallow leaf and the poplar but the willow seems to be first choice.

Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata)

Here’s a moth I didn’t actually see.  Jane photographed it early in July and realised later that although it had been recorded before there was no photographic evidence.  A moth with beautiful markings named after Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, wheat and growth.  ‘Fulvata’ means ‘tawny coloured’ from the ground colour.  I wish I had seen the real thing.