nightfly's picture

Unknown caterpillar.

Observed: 2nd July 2011 By: nightflynightfly’s reputation in Invertebratesnightfly’s reputation in Invertebratesnightfly’s reputation in Invertebratesnightfly’s reputation in Invertebratesnightfly’s reputation in Invertebrates
2 July 11 (79)
2 July 11 (80)
jse_gren
Description:

The photo quality is poor here, colour affected by having to diffuse flash with paper. But there may be enough of the markings visible for identification?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Anomalous (Stilbia anomala) interacts

Comments

Douglas's picture

I don't think this is a

I don't think this is a Nutmeg caterpillar, but it's certainly a noctuid, and a large one. Out of interest, does Nutmeg apppear in your area?

Cathal, do you have any more infomation about possible foodplant, habitat, etc?

Best wishes,

Douglas

nightfly's picture

Douglas, I just checked

Douglas,
I just checked Nutmegs Irish status, records are extremely rare and it seems no evidence exists that it is a resident Irish species. I think the tiny no. of records that do exist are considered migrants.

Purely by chance, I have found another image of this caterpillar since posting earlier. The colours are truer in this image, both were found on heather moorland. This other one was found on 18 June 2007, seems to be quite mature, I will add it as an edit above because I am sure it is the same species. I recall at the time, it curled up and refused to relax, so the image is of it curled up.

Cathal.

nightfly's picture

Douglas , Im not good with

Douglas ,
Im not good with plants. Heather, bilberry, to be quite honest, both these caterpillars were found in rough grassy areas (but close to heather) at a guess, sedges?

Im sorry, I have neglected to familiarise myself with the plants of this area I search for fauna on. I will have to get to grips with the plantlife too.

Cathal.

nightfly's picture

Michael, Thanks for taking

Michael,

Thanks for taking an interest in this caterpillar, just based on accepted status of the species here in Co Antrim it might be unlikely to be a nutmeg but are there any other larvae you know of which resemble that of nutmeg, especially ones which would be found in heathland/moorland?

Cathal.

Douglas's picture

I don't think it's a heather

Thanks for the info.

I don't think it's a heather feeder. Anomalous feeds on grasses, however I'm not all that confident this is your moth.

Perhaps one to put up for James on the forum?

Best wishes,

Douglas

nightfly's picture

Douglas, You may well be

Douglas,
You may well be correct with Anomalous. I havent recorded the adult on the hills where I found these caterpillars, but I did record the adult in early September of this year on Rathlin Island just off the north coast of this county and In added it here on iSpot only a few days ago as you may have noticed.

There are many species present on the upland I spend quite a bit of time on(in daylight hours)which are badly under-recorded. If I were to get up there with a trap in the late summer and autumn, I'd probably record some interesting species.

I think I put that cat. from 07 on the forum at the time and it wasnt brought to species but worth another go.

Thanks again,

Cathal.

nightfly's picture

Hi Douglas, I see what you

Hi Douglas,

I see what you mean there, no doubt a similarity and my caterpillar may be anomalous.

Both specimens I have photographed and added above have the same little markings immediately dorsal of the upper narrow pale band.

They are like dark triangles containing a white dot. I'm not sure I can see them on the anomalous larvae images on the link but it does say the larvae is variable.

The pale stripes are right though. The only other thing I noticed waqs in the info below the image of the green larvae on the link, it says the larvae are usually seen Oct- April, both of mine were recorded in summer time.

Gonna go look at nutmeg now as suggested by Michael, I would love this to be anomalous as I recorded the adult in September in a nother area and the adult hasnt been recorded in my usual hunting grounds before, which is where this cat. was found.

Cathal.