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6 July 2011

5 July 2011 – Brightly coloured petticoats

Another week passes and this post must go up.  A Garden Tiger moth (Arctia caja) turned up.  What a wonderful moth it is.  Arctia from the Greek for ‘bear’ – the hairy larva is called the ‘wooly bear’ –and caja is taken from a Roman lady’s name (the female of Caius).  Linnaeus used feminine names for species with brightly-coloured hindwings and this moth certainly is a suitable candidate.  The red colouring is so intense. The caterpillars have now embraced a dandelion leaf diet and they are increasing in size at an alarming rate.  One larval skin-shedding has taken place and the hairs on their backs grow longer and longer.