Friday, 11 September 2009

Comma Caterpillar

While checking the brambles up the track yesterday for blackberries I discovered a comma butterfly on a stinging nettle. Its quite striking in colour, white back and black and orange body. From the top view it is said to resemble a bird dropping.
This is the first comma butterfly caterpillar I have seen. Comma butterflies have a small semi-circular mark or "comma" on the underside of its wings.

Comma caterpillars feeding on sting nettles. The ones up the track seem to be particularly powerful stingers. This may be because they are cut down frequently. When they regrow, they have more stings which are stronger, a reaction to grazing animals. I brushed by arm against one today and had five very large welts come up. They were particularly uncomfortable and stung for the rest of the day and into the evening. Even today I still have 5 red spots where I was stung.

I also noticed that a lot of the blackberries that have not been picked have dried out.

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