Valerie Harrison's picture

Green-caterpillar

Observed: 25th February 2012 By: Valerie Harrison
West Galloway Scottish Ornithologists' Club
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green-caterpillar
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) interacts

Comments

nightfly's picture

Hi Valerie,This isnt unlike

Hi Valerie,

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.

Cathal.

nightfly's picture

Fair point Douglas re it

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.

Cathal.

Douglas's picture

Yes, I do see where you're

Yes, I do see where you're coming from. But Angle Shades has a similar pattern. Take this for an example:

http://www.lepinet.fr/especes/photos/METICULOSA-L5-20070808-2.jpg

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.

Best wishes,

Douglas

nightfly's picture

Yes I see the patterning on

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.

Cheers,

Cathal.

Douglas's picture

Yes, it's very common at this

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!

Best wishes,

Douglas

corylus's picture

Yes,it is Heather ,Calluna vulgaris,

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.

Hazel Trevan

Valerie Harrison's picture

Heather

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!

Valerie
Wildforms
Gardening for Wildlife
www.wildforms.co.uk
wildforms.blogspot.com

nightfly's picture

No worries Valerie,Yip I

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?

Cathal.