yorkie's picture

Unknown caterpillar

Observed: 8th June 2011 By: yorkieyorkie’s reputation in Invertebratesyorkie’s reputation in Invertebratesyorkie’s reputation in Invertebratesyorkie’s reputation in Invertebrates
unk 1 caterpillar IMG_8540
unk 1 caterpillar IMG_8540 1
unk 1 caterpillar IMG_8540 1 2

Seen in woodland on bramble in the understory, approx 3cm long. My searches have proved fruitless in an attempt to id this caterpillar. Please can someone help me out? Thanks

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Red-headed Chestnut (Conistra erythrocephala) interacts


yorkie's picture

Thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll send the photos to the county recorder for his opinion. Reading Porter it seems an unlikely record!



Michael Skelton's picture


I've found some images at www.lepiforum.de/cgi-bin/lepiwiki.pl?Conistra_Erythrocephala. See what you think. It doesn't look quite right to me , but something close.

yorkie's picture

More feedback


I sent some photos to my county moth recorder, and he in turn has sent them onto a colleague more knowledgeable about moth larvae. His remarks are posted below:-

"I have had a good look at this moth larva. It is certainly not an easy one to name but I think it may be the July High Flyer,Hydriomena furcata. Whilst the specimen concerned is not marked as clearly as most of the photos I can find on the web (which may be due to it either just having moulted to its next nymphal stage or pupation being imminent),there are a few clues which have led me to this conclusion. The final instar nymph of this species usually carries square-shaped brown to black markings along the dorsal area and whilst these cannot be seen in your photograph a printed version which I have taken has brought out traces of some darker pigmentation of the correct shape along the top of its body. Moreover,it shows faint mottling and lines of the same colour which also fit with the descriptions of the larval stage of this species. However,the thing that really swayed me towards this species was the chestnut brown head and on the first segment an obvious brown chitinous area which is clealy visible in your picture.

"Photgraphs on the web vary greatly and the nearest I can find is at www.naturespot.org.uk/species/July-highflyer but even this is not particularly helpful.

"I note it was found on bramble which is not listed as one of its foodplants which are Sallow,Willow,Poplar,Hazel,Bilberry & Heather and I was wondering whether any of these species were nearby - if so, I think I would say I am about 75% confident with the id but if not I cannot see any likely alternative candidates that might fit the bill.

"Sorry I cannot be more precise."

As a result of this feedback, I've added a revision to the original identification.


Michael Skelton's picture

July Highflier

Interesting, but the larva appears to have a full set of prolegs, which seems to point to it being a noctuid.