Simon Walker's picture

Black woolly caterpillar

Observed: 2nd October 2012 By: Simon WalkerSimon Walker’s reputation in InvertebratesSimon Walker’s reputation in InvertebratesSimon Walker’s reputation in InvertebratesSimon Walker’s reputation in Invertebrates
Black woolly caterpillar, Sandy Lodge, 2012-10-03 001
Description:

No idea what sort of caterpillar this is. It crossed the path in front of me.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Water Ermine (Spilosoma urticae) interacts

Comments

GrizzledBadger's picture

Your Caterpillar appears to

Your Caterpillar appears to be more luxuriantly hirsute than the example in my book, has more of a look of a Tiger Moth larva

Brock

nightfly's picture

It does have that look

It does have that look GrizzledBadger, it looks a bit like a Wood Tiger but there is no chestnut to be seen. The wee black head is very Wood Tiger looking but I think it is very like the suggested Water Ermine in ukleps.

Cathal.

Fenwickfield's picture

Which book

It depends on the book as some photos can be deceptive I use The colour identification guide to Caterpillars of the British Isles by Jim Porter

Fenwickfield

Simon Walker's picture

If it helps...

...as far as I could see it was all-black, apart from some small white spots on the head.

GrizzledBadger's picture

I've been using Collins

I've been using Collins F.G.to Caterpillars of Butterflies & Moths in Brit & Eur. D.j. Carter & B. Hargreaves.

Brock

Fenwickfield's picture

Stick

I would stick with my original id I have looked at your suggestion and the colour is wrong for tiger and other ermine ones do not fit either it matches water ermine

Fenwickfield

nightfly's picture

I just looked at the final

I just looked at the final instar images on ukleps for Water Ermine and White Ermine(which my only hunch- I didnt know about Water Ermine), felt it was a good match for the former as suggested by Fenwickfield. I dont have any good larva books but have to say, ukleps is probably the best IDing aid I have found since I bought WTL in 2009. Its brilliant.

Cathal.

Simon Walker's picture

Gosh.

I didn't mean to cause controversy... So what's the consensus then? Fenwickfield's Water Ermine? I've looked at ukleps.org, and it looks like it to me. Fantastic website if you know what to look for. Black hairy caterpillar doesn't help, unless I'm mistaken though, and that's the level I'm at.
Porter's Colour Identification guide to Caterpillars of the British Isles is pretty pricey at £50 or more!
Thanks, everyone.

Fenwickfield's picture

Pricey

I know it is an expensive book I got it for my birthday 6 years ago,it's a hardback but it really is worth it as I could never find any good reference books and sometimes on the web when they show photo's some are wrongly identified so it's not a perfect way to identify.You haven't caused controversy the site is here for use question or we would never learn,we should never be afraid to comment on an identification.If I was wrong I would want to know and not have people pretend it's right as not to offend.

Sheila

Fenwickfield

Simon Walker's picture

I'll put it on my Christmas list, Sheila.

The comment about controversy was a bit tongue in cheek. I've got a bit of a daft sense of humour, I'm afraid. I comes with being a southerner - we're all a bit odd.
Talking of which, whereabouts are you in Northumberland? I've got relatives in Newcastle and Pegswood... Haven't been up there for ages; last time I had an MX5 and my nephew and I explored the length of Hardian's Wall. Sunshine, wonderful countryside, and open topped sports car - it was super. He showed me the place that appeared in that awful "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves" film. A lovely part of the world, and best of all NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE!

Fenwickfield's picture

The Wall

I am near Housesteads roman fort on the wall so I would have been on the Scottish side when it was built, know the tree well in the dip probably the most photographed tree never seen the film which I think is a blessing.I it's rather remote were I am outskirts of Simonburn all I see here is the odd fell runner or hiker as no roads. Odd the Pegswood thing as that is were my mother was born and I used to go there for my holiday when I was a kid.

Sheila

Fenwickfield

Simon Walker's picture

I've seen it.

You haven't missed anything. Coincidence about Pegswood!