Jonathan's picture

Gregarious Caterpillars on a lime leaf 30 Jul 2013 18-42

Observed: 30th July 2013 By: Jonathan
iSpot team
Jonathan’s reputation in InvertebratesJonathan’s reputation in InvertebratesJonathan’s reputation in InvertebratesJonathan’s reputation in Invertebrates
Gregarious Caterpillars on a lime leaf 30 Jul 2013 18-43
eggs on a lime leaf 30 Jul 2013 18-42
lime leaf eaten by Caterpillars
Caterpillars on the top surface a lime leaf 30 Jul 2013 18-045
Caterpillars on lower surface of a lime leaf 30 Jul 2013 18-046
Description:

This mass of tiny caterpillars evidently hatched from the eggs seen on the lower leaf surface in the 2nd photo, then migrated to the top surface of the leaf and grazed it right down to the lower surface. Most of them then appear to have retreated to the lower surface of the leaf again, leaving just a few stragglers remaining on the top surface.
I'd love to know what they are!

Identifications
Species interactions

Species with which Buff-Tip (Phalera bucephala) interacts

Comments

Jonathan's picture

Thanks, Matt. What an amazing

Thanks, Matt.
What an amazing variety of tree species buff tip eats. With no shortage of food, there must be some pretty heavy mortality from parasitoids to keep it in check. So far as I could see, this was the only leaf on the lime tree that was eaten by these caterpillars.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Matt Smith's picture

Limes

We had a row of Lime pollards running alongside the edge of the school playground when I was at primary school - evey year "huge" black and yellow caterpillars would descend from the lime trees and wander across the playground tarmac - I found out later these were Buff Tip.

As for eating just the 1 leaf so far - just wait......

Tachinid Recording Scheme

www.tachinidae.org.uk

TRS Facebook Page
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tachinid-Recording-Scheme/376652392364707