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This isnt unlike a Beautiful Yellow Underwing, though the only image I have seen and the only real larva I recorded have been just like this but with a bit more white marking on the overall green larva. I found mine on heather too, is that heather?
Waring Townsend and Lewington 09 says it probably overwinters as a larva or pupa, the food plants are the terminal shoots of heather and bell heather. I think this is it despite its lacking clear pale markings? The markings which are there (faint) are the right shape.
Fair point Douglas re it being too plain, I really thought the pattern was there despite the lack of white. The heather seemed to tie in nicely also, if it is heather.
Yes, I do see where you're coming from. But Angle Shades has a similar pattern. Take this for an example:
Certainly has the white streak on the back and is slightly striped.
Although I totally agree with the food plant, if this is indeed Heather.
Yes I see the patterning on angle shades. It has that broken white line like BYU but niot enough white markings on this, I'll know this for again. Havent seen angle shades larva myself yet, it seems to pop up a lot on iSpot. Have recorded several adults before.
Sorry for attempting to mislead you Valerie.
Yes, it's very common at this time of year and most of the moth larva on iSpot are this at the moment. This is because it can feed all round the year, few other species would feed now.
By the way, I'm sure you didn't mislead anyone. iSpot is all about the creative process of reaching a correct ID. And I'm not sure that's process is complete for this one yet as I'm still concerned about the food plant!
I was taught by a heather expert that strictly speaking Calluna is Ling the popular Heather,White Heather etc.Ericas are Heaths also known as Heather which is why the botanical name is so useful for ID. though not as pretty or steeped in folklore as our lovely common names.
Yes it was Heather or Ling as previously mentioned. Ot was on a large patch of it in a forest clearing. I think Angle Shades is right as suggested, should have gone with my instincts. We see a lot of Angle Shade moths in the garden but have not seen them when we have been out and about on our walks.
Cathal, not misleading at all, it has sparked a healthy discussion which we can all learn from. I would love to find a BYU though, not had that one yet!
Gardening for Wildlife
No worries Valerie,
Yip I certainly learned something from this, the heather got me somewhat hopeful that your caterpilar was a BYU, but I think there is little doubt this is Angle Shades, a caterpillar I havent seen yet myself.
I tried to find an adult BYU last Autumn following the discovery of a larva but no joy, maybe this year?
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