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3 November 2014

3 November 2014 – Eggs for December

December Moth eggs

Throughout the year the egg-cartons in the bottom of the trap have been checked (the inside and outside of the trap as well), just in case a moth has decided to lay a batch of eggs during its temporary confinement.  This has happened in the past and the responsibility then rests on Shandy Hall moth-trappers to either adopt the eggs and help them on their way or, try to remove them (not an easy task) and find a suitable place to put them in the garden.  The first course of action involves making sure the hatching larva are provided with the correct variety of food-plant.  Then care must be taken to see the caterpillars through to pupation or alternatively to release them in the garden.  The December Moth eggs shown above, won’t hatch until April so I am in two minds – snip the section of egg-box with the eggs on and place it in a sheltered spot or wait until the eggs hatch and rear the caterpillars. 

December Moth (Poecilocampa populi)

Here is one of the adults – this the smaller male seen from the front and looking more and more like Toshiro Mifune.

December Moth (illustration)
December Moth larva (illustration)

The last drawing shows the caterpillar.  I’ve never seen one like that before so I think the decision will be to keep the eggs in a cool place and wait until Spring.