Home > Moths > 9 July 2013 – Timothy and the Foundling Caterpillar Nursery of Shandy Hall.

9 July 2013

9 July 2013 – Timothy and the Foundling Caterpillar Nursery of Shandy Hall.

I believe Helen Levins came across a Timothy Tortrix (Aphelia paleana) last year when she was here, though it was recorded as an Aphelia unitana.  On reflection this is an unlikely identification as Aphelia unitana is a nationally scarce species. The coloration depicted in the main identification book that we use at Shandy Hall, the Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, could have been a factor as the Timothy Tortrix is shown as yellow and the Aphelia unitana as a shade of white very similar to the specimens of the Timothy Tortrix that we’ve found. The difference is that the Timothy Tortrix has a slight yellowish suffusion around the head and base of the wings. Apheleia ‘plainness’ and palea ‘chaff’ describe this plain white with the suffusion of color on the wing. Why the micro-moth’s name is ‘Timothy’ I am not certain, but one of the host plants is Timothy Grass (Phleum) so that may be the connection.  Our species count is now 276.

Timothy Tortrix (Aphelia paleana)

For even more exciting news, I’ve taken some pictures of our new additions to the Shandy Hall Foundling Caterpillar Nursery! (We were going to name it the Foundling Caterpillar Orphanage, but decided against that because that sounded too depressing.) Here are a few of our new occupants munching away on a piece of clover that Patrick has given them.

New Members of the Foundling Caterpillar Nursery

The looper caterpillar, possibly a Shoulder-stripe (Anticlea badiata), has now pupated! We’ve put it in with the Yellow-tails and are waiting for it to emerge.

Shoulder-stripe (Anticlea badiata) pupa

We’ve been collecting plenty of caterpillars lately. This one came to us by chance this morning. I found it in the moth trap. It had attached itself to a Sweet Rocket petal and drifted in by accident. We don’t know what it is, but hopefully it takes to the Sweet Rocket leaf I gave it and we will find out!

Unknown Caterpillar Type

– Post by Jane Wu