Welcome

My Blog's aim is to promote and encourage others to participate in the wonderful hobby that is Moth-trapping.
So why do we do it? well for some people it is to get an insight into the world of Moths, for others it is to build a list of species much like 'Twitching' in the Bird world.
The reason I do it....you never know what you might find when you open up that trap!
I hope to show what different species inhabit our Country by getting people aware of what is out there.
On this Blog you will find up-to-date records and pictures.
I run a trap regularly in my garden in Hertfordshire and enjoy doing field trips to various localities within Hertfordshire and Essex

Please also check out the links in the sidebar to the right for other people's Blogs and informative Websites.

Thanks for looking & happy Mothing!

KEY

NFY = New Species For The Year
NFG = New Species For The Garden
NEW! = New Species For My Records

Any Species highlighted in RED signifies a totally new species for my records.

If you have any questions or enquiries then please feel free to email me
Contact Email : bensale@rocketmail.com

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Vapourer Caterpillar

Just found one of these, a first for my Garden, he was merrily munching on my Apple.

I have still yet to see the imago.

Vapourer Moth Caterpillar

5 comments:

  1. Nice one Ben, we have plum, cherry, apple and pear trees but I have never found a single caterpillar in our garden!?.

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  2. Have you retained it Ben? Usually easy to rear through and you will either get a nice spanking male, or a ridiculously fat and hairy wingless female which you can use to assemble a few males.

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  3. Thanks guys.
    Whats the easiest way to rear it?
    and when is it likely to pupate? its quite a size already!

    Cheers

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  4. Ben,
    I have reared quite a few species in the past by simply putting the larvae in a clear plastic tupperware type box lined with paper kitchen towel. Provide plenty of fresh sprigs of foodplant, preferably from the plant that you found the larvae on but with a suitable alternative if necessary (I've reared many species in the past on cherry and lilac).
    If rearing over a few days/weeks, then you'll need to clean out the box and refresh the foodplant regularly (ideally daily). The paper usually lasts a few days unless the foodplant or frass is damp. Keep the box indoors but not in direct sunlight.
    If a larva sits still for a day or so without feeding, then it is probably changing instar - you may notice the head capsule come away first. Don't disturb them in this state.
    I've not had to deal with parasitised larvae, but if they start to look obviously unwell/deformed then best to separate from any otherwise healthy larvae.
    Before pupation, most species will wander around the box without feeding for a few hours and appear agitated. Some will also change colour (especially hawk-moth larvae), usually going darker. Most species will happily pupate in the paper lining, either by making a chamber or a silken cocoon. Don't disturb them at this stage - at least until you've reared a few and have a feel for what's happening as some species make a chamber but do not pupate immediately.
    Vapourer will make an obvious cocoon - when I've reared them in the past they simply attach themselves to the side of the box or even the lid. It should pupate almost immediately by now, and will emerge in a couple of weeks or so - the normal flight period runs into October and they overwinter in the egg stage.
    Remember that a female will simply clamber out of the cocoon and start emitting pheremones to attract males - put her and the cocoon in a net bag, or place a mash/net over the top of the open box and wait for males with your net ready. After letting her mate, she will soon start laying eggs and then eventually drop off dead - what a life! Place and secure the cocoon in a suitably sheltered crevice or ledge on a fence, side of the shed or tree trunk. I reckon if you have a good look around your garden you will find one or two old cocoons covered in empty egg shells.
    Good luck!

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  5. Thanks, thats alot of help Skev, he's still eating the Apple leaves :D

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