2057 Arctia caja (Garden Tiger)

Rearing Cornwall Moths


Caterpillars shown here have been reared from eggs laid by adults collected from recording sessions around Cornwall, or from wild collected caterpillars found. Numbers used in the titles are the UK Bradley 2000 list references.

1631 Poecilocampa populi (December Moth)

08 May 2011 160
Lasiocampidae. Length: 50mm. The Caterpillar of this moth is very well camouflaged, whether it is resting in the leaf litter below its foodplant tree, or it is laying along a twig. The outline is obscured by a fringe of hairs along its sides.

1631 Poecilocampa populi (December Moth)

25 Dec 2006 125
Lasiocampidae Wingspan: 40mm. As its common name declares, this moth flies through December, when most other moths have closed down for the Winter. It has no feeding organs, so doesn't have to take time refuelling and just gets on with finding a mate, and producing eggs which overwinter until the Spring before hatching.

1643 Saturnia pavonia (Emperor Moth) Eggs

28 Oct 2013 201
A small batch of eggs laid by a female in my culture, all carefully laid around the Bramble stalk.

1643 Saturnia pavonia (Emperor Moth)

30 Jun 2010 1 1 144
The caterpillars of the UK's only Silk-moth are quite handsome animals, with their black circlets over their dark green bodies. There are a variety of colours to the hair tubercles, ranging from lilac-pink, to cream, or white. The black and dark green can sometimes merge patchily breaking up the usual pattern which is seen here.

1643 Saturnia pavonia (Emperor Moths)

22 Apr 2011 1 1 136
The adults of this species are beautifully marked, and the orange hind-winged males fly in sunlight searching out the newly emerged females using their sensitive antennae to detect the female's pheramones. They can be detected up to 3Km from the source, and any virgin female is quickly found and mated. After coupling, the females fly through the night to lay their eggs across the moorland that they frequent.

1638 Macrothylacia rubi (Fox Moth)

28 Oct 2013 143
Lasiocampidae Final length: ~75mm. These big furry caterpillars can often be seen on Moorland on warmer sunny days through the Winter, basking in the sun, or looking for a quick snack on any Bramble leaves that they can find. Technically, they hibernate over Winter in the UK, but in mild Cornwall I've found that they are almost as active as in the Autumn or Spring, although they rarely eat very much during the colder period.

1638 Macrothylacia rubi (Fox Moth)

28 Oct 2013 142
Lasiocampidae Wingspan: 50-60mm. A newly-emerged Female resting. THese fly at night, and when coming in to moth trap lights can seem enormous, but after they have settled, they seem to revert to a smaller size. This species readily lays eggs when put into a Keep Net during moth recording, so there are loads of eggs available on a night when they are flying. The males, like others in this group, dash over the Moors through the day searching for the newly emerged females.

"Mirror Mirror on the Wall".....

17 Oct 2013 130
Lasiocampidae: 1640 Euthrix potatoria (Drinker Moth) Female This little lady looks strange, but to her species she may be very attractive. See Album: Small Families 2

1640 Euthrix potatoria (Drinker Moth) Hatchling

18 Aug 2013 116
Here is a newly-hatched young caterpillar eating its egg-shell as its first meal. In many species, this first meal is critical, and the young caterpillar will die if it doesn't finish it before looking for its first leaf meal. It is always amazing how a caterpillar that size can fit inside a 3mm long egg (a neighbour unhatched one is in this picture),

1640 Euthrix potatoria (Drinker Moth)

17 Oct 2013 122
One of the caterpillars which hatched from the eggs laid by the pictured females, now half grown, and slowly becoming dormant for the Winter. They will finally awake in the warmer days in early Spring, finish feeding up andpupate to produce the next generation.

1640 Euthrix potatoria (Drinker Moth)

18 Sep 2013 122
A common species which is often cited as the moth which some women are afraid of. Both sexes are big, very active when flying, and easily attracted to lights, so an open window inevitably brings one of this species in at night, where it then dashes around the room bouncing off everything - even humans! The males are a darker brown and slightly smaller than the females, but at rest, they can look very like a dried leaf until disturbed.

1764 Chloroclysta truncata (Common Marbled Carpet)

1764 Chloroclysta truncata (Common Marbled Carpet)

23 Mar 2016 112
Geometridae, Larentiinae - Wingspan: 28-38mm. See earlier picture for more details about this species. This form shows another variation on the colouring which is perhaps the prettiest version that occurs occasionally in populations.

1906 Opisthograptis luteolata (Brimstone Moth)

18 Sep 2013 142
One of the many Geometridae species, this has caterpillars which mimic twig buds when resting.

1906 Opisthograptis luteolata (Brimstone Moth)

14 Apr 2016 151
Geometridae, Ennominae: Wingspan 28-42mm. A pretty, easily recognisable, species which is widespread and common in the UK, and also through Cornwall. A prolific species most years, it often produces multiple generations through the year, and many individuals will come to light through its flight season. Because of multiple generations, the main flight season is extended as a broad peak from April to October, although in Cornwall individuals can also be seen as early as February, and slowly increasing numbers in March.

1917 Selenia dentaria (Early Thorn)

18 Sep 2013 122
Geometridae, Ennominae Final Length 32mm. A common "Thorn" moth, with a larva which can mimic a bare twig shoot.

1917 Selenia dentaria (Early Thorn)

18 Sep 2013 116
Geometridae, Ennominae Wingspan 28-46mm. A commonly occurring species throughout the UK, and widespread in Cornwall. Characteristically, it rests with its wings together butterfly fashion, and only on rare occasions would a glimpse of the upper side of the wings be visible, usually as it is fluttering around. This picture is one of those instances which has frozen the view to see it. One of the darker species of "Thorn", particularly because of the underside, it is unmistakable. As its common name implies, this is one of the first moth species appearing in, or even before, the early Spring. It has at least two generations each year. The UK flight season is quoted as mid February to May, and again in July to September, but in Cornwall individuals are possible from January to November, with slightly reduced numbers in June.

1919 Selenia tetralunaria (Purple Thorn)

18 Sep 2013 90
Geometridae, Ennominae Final Length 32mm. One of the best camouflaged species of all. In its own selected position it would be much less apparent than in his picture.

63 items in total