Saturday, 7 February 2015

Day 98 - The Beauty of the Mini-Beasts Part 6

Hey everyone,

Before I start I want to say I hope you have enjoyed my Beauty of the Mini-beasts theme as this is the final part for now. I've enjoyed doing it though and I will return to this series and do some more beautiful mini-beasts in future
Drinker Moth Caterpillar (Euthrix potatoria)

Day 98 and I have another mini beast for you. It's a very pretty thing too. I found this whilst wandering around a North Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Hickling Broad in the summer. It wasn't hard to find as it decided to have a walk across the path. I have also seen one of these caterpillars in the North York Moors when I was walking with one of my friends. I have never seen one of these moths in their final stage, the 'moth stage' :-), but I have seen plenty of them in their caterpillar stage. They are very interesting little insects as you can see in the facts below:

  • Drinker moths get their names from the caterpillars. They are often seen drinking drops of dew from blades of grass.
  • The caterpillars are usually around between April and July before metamorphosis, sometimes they are seen later in the year, August and September, before they hibernate ready to continue feeding up in the spring. The adults are most often found flying around in July and August.
  • Although the caterpillars are quite large and bright, the actual moth is a plain brown colour and is quite small only having a wingspan of up to 70mm.
  • While adults are mostly brown they do have a small white spot on each forewing and a diagonal line running from the spot to the tip of the wing. There are pictures of the adult moth on the pages linked below. 
  • It is easy to tell males from females if they are together as the females are larger and a bit more yellow in colour.
  • They are easy to see as they live across most of England and are attracted by light.
  • The caterpillars mainly feed on grasses and reeds. 
  • Not many things eat them except perhaps for Cuckoos.

Interesting that something quite pretty and quite big turns into something small and quite plain. If you want to find out more here's a few links:

Hope you enjoyed,


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