Home > Moths > 30 June 2016 – Eggs Hatch

30 June 2016

30 June 2016 – Eggs Hatch

Commom Marbled Carpet caterpillars on clover.

What is known about the Common Marbled Carpet?

The guides inform that the moth has two generations, May-June and late August-early October. It visits the flowers of Ivy and over-ripe blackberries.  When the eggs are laid we now know that they hatch after 23 days and the emerging caterpillars seem to be happy munching  on clover.  The caterpillars are very small, cream-coloured and move in a looping fashion.  Each ‘step’ is a waving, questing, searching process with the head as far in front of the body as possible.  When new contact is made with the fore-legs, the rear claspers are brought up behind to form a neat inverted U-shape.  The movement is surprisingly rapid. When the caterpillar is at rest it tucks its head into its body and adopts the shape of a question mark. The larvae are precise and neat.

The menu for the Common Marbled Carpet caterpillar is varied : bramble, bilberry, birch, sallow, privet, hawthorn and dock.  We will encourage a taste for the last food plant mentioned as soon as they have grown a little.