brown striped caterpillars,getting into red campion seed pods. I saw one climb to the lip and throw out a seed. what are they and what are they doing?
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Thank you, that is very interesting. it actually looked like the skin of a seed, not the whole 3D seed that was ejected which makes sense, but I didn't realise they'd be able to eat something so apparently hard.
thank you, that is very interesting. It looked like the skin of a seed rather than the whole 3D seed that was ejected, but I didn't realise they could eat something so apparently hard.
The female moths lay their eggs on the Silene flowers, so at least the first pod/seeds the caterpillar encounters is recently developed and relatively soft. The more mature caterpillars have substantial mandibles and can chew their way into more mature pods with ease. Speed is critical as there is a limited supply of food, the pods are exposed to predators etc. If they run out of seeds these caterpillars will readily eat each other, so if you try to rear them out they are best kept separately.
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