Helen Mainwood's picture


Observed: 23rd March 2012 By: Helen Mainwood
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
Helen Mainwood’s reputation in InvertebratesHelen Mainwood’s reputation in Invertebrates
IMG_9112 caterpillar 23Mar2012
IMG_9116 caterpillar 23Mar2012

Caterpillar found at base of clump of grass.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) interacts


BDeed's picture


Are the other 'yellow-underwing' moth caterpillars similar at all? or are their other similar caterpillars?

chrisbrooks's picture


I'll let Douglas answer that one if he doesn't mind, he's far more knowledgeable than I am.

Douglas's picture

Yep, a large group of the

Yep, a large group of the noctuids are fairly similar to this, including but not exclusively other noctua species; lots of brown ones with black markings. Caterpillar ID is always more difficult and it always really helps if you have images from as many angles as possible.

http://www.ukleps.org/ - this is a great website for browsing caterpillar images if you want to compare any species.

But Large YU is fairly distinctive - better marked than many. If you're familar with the species it's not too tricky at all.

Best wishes,


Helen Mainwood's picture

Thanks for the ID and for the

Thanks for the ID and for the further comments. Website duly noted.

Douglas's picture


Sorry but it seems I've made a slight mistake here, this caterpillar is actually that of either Six-striped Rustic or Square spot Rustic, which are identical as a caterpillar.

These can be separated by LYU in a number of ways, the clearest being the thick white line along the back, not present on LYU.

Sorry for any confusion with these; I'd totally forgot about this pair of moths! Even though I'd seen and ID'd them correctly last year!

Best wishes,


BDeed's picture

white lines

Looking at the pictures for matching ID's under 'other observations' it seems this has happened a fair few times!