Anyone know what the worm-like thing is emerging from the abdomen of this moth? I presume it is either a parasite of some kind, or internal organs on the outside?
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That is very strange, not seen anything like that on a moth before! I don't think it is the internal organs so the parasitoid option might be the most likely, but I can't confirm that.
Entomologist and biological recorder
I posted a similar pic on the Glamorgan Moth Recording Group blog (to which I am a regular contributor) to receive a similar reaction, i.e. never seen that before! One suggestion though was that it could be a copulation or defense organ. I think that may be the likely explanation simply because I netted the same moth 3 days later apparently in fine fettle dashing about the garden with gusto. If it had been an emerging parasite, there is a strong likelihood I guess that it would not have survived that long post emergence?
It also had a fair journey to get here. The moth is a Jersey Tiger, the 3rd Welsh record of this species in fact and the closest colonies are in Somerset a minimum of 20 miles away. Even with a stiff tail wind I guess a weakened moth would would struggle to make it that far.
Lat/Lng: 51.3, -3.4
OS grid ref: ST0666