Sunday, 19 July 2015

Day 258 - Marvellously Momentous and Calm Mullein Moth Catterpillar

Mullein Moth Caterpillar (Shargacucullia verbasci)
Hey everyone today's Day 258 and in our garden we have a few of Verbascun flowers that are very tall, about as high as me, 4' 7". That's pretty tall for a Flower but we do get quite large amounts of wildlife on them as they have lots of buds for pollinating. if I were an insect I wouldn't want to be feeding off the top of one in case I was spotted by a passing bird! Weirdly a couple of Mullein Moth Caterpillars have decided to feed off these. So I decided I should do a post on them.

And here are the facts:

  • They are found in Europe but not Northern or Eastern. They are also found in Northern Africa.
  • The fully grown caterpillars are 44mm - 48mm long while the butterfly is between 45mm - 56mm.
  • They lay their eggs on Verbascum, Buddleia, and Figwort. They do this at the end of Spring and bad infestations can strip the plant.
Feeding on Verbascun or Mullein.
  • Their flight period is April to May, a small time to find a mate and then lay their eggs. The caterpillars are seen more often and they are sometimes attracted to light.
  • In most host countries of this caterpillar, gardeners and farmers consider them as a pest due to their large appetite.
  • The pupa is the longest stage of the Mullein's life cycle. In captivity it can take up to 5 years, so I'm not expecting to see any moths in the near future!
  • They seem to only be found in England and a tiny bit in Southern Wales. They are most common in the UK in East Anglia with only a couple of sightings where I am in North Yorkshire.
A couple of Thunder Bugs join him.
  • They are found mainly in dry and warm places such as scrub, dry grassland, on rocky slopes as well as parks and gardens.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Amazing captures Zach, I love the colours on them as well. - Tasha