Sunday, 8 May 2011

Lacky moth caterpillar

Today I noticed a large colourful caterpillar on the shrub growing in a pot outside our front door.
It was a caterpillar of the Lackey moth Malacosoma neustria.

This caterpillar is usually found on deciduous trees living communally in a silk tent which they spin.
It is only at the last instar stage, having shed their skin for the last time before coming a chrysalis, that the caterpillars then go their own way. This is how this single caterpillar ended up on our shrub. 
The adult moth is a brown colour with two wavy markings across the wings. I don't have a picture but I have provided a link below.

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