Feeding on grass
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Given it was feeding on grass and brown tail feeds on hawthorn and other deciduous trees it can not be that species
Caterpillars do have legs remember! There is nothing to suggest it is feeding on grasses - just passing by. No hairy moth like this feeds on grasses.
Not the best angle for the photo but from the what is visible, the markings are consistent with Brown-tail.
It was feeding on grass - I watched it doing so.
I had a Hawthorn covered in Brown-tail caterpillars and a distance away there was one on Salad Burnet so I guess a few wander or get dislodged.
As I say, no British hairy caterpillar feeds on grasses. Caterpillars have legs which mean they can disperse to find new food.
After doing some research, this is certainly Brown-tail. Nothing else it could be. The two red dots on its back are diagnostic.
Drinkers are hairy and they feed on grass as was the caterpillar I photographed.
I've done some research and although there were no trees within several hundred metres Skinner does state they sometimes feed on bramble which does occur in the area - so I| guess it was a brown tail in spite of the fact it definately feed on the grass stem.
Had it been on been on hawthorn or some other prunus I would have posted as brown tail.
Yes, I suppose you're quite right, Drinkers are hairy but, in my mind, lasiocampids are a different kind of hairy - they are more furry! What I meant was no moth similar to this (irrespective of markings) would feed on grass.
But when it comes to caterpillar ID, markings are far more important that a suspected foodplant.
Lat/Lng: 50.7209, -1.816
OS grid ref: SZ130912