Found under the lid of a compost bin in the bramble hedge.
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How variable are these caterpillars? Other photographs of Cossus cossus show a marked difference in colour between back and sides. Also bigger black mark behind the head. Or is this what they look like when newly emerged? R
I think they darken up as they get near to pupation and end up quite a dark shiny brown. Can you give some indication of the size of this larva?
It was about 40mm. R
While ukleps doesn't state what size their early instar larva is, its looks a lot less than 40mm, it looks very small, at a guess 1-1.5 cm. Alas they only have that and a final instar which as Donald says is about 10cm. I still think your larva looks like a good candidate for this species at this point.
I see what you mean Robin re the colouration and I have to admit I havent seen nor can I find a goat moth larva at this stage (if that is what it is), ukleps doesnt have it. They have a very immature one and then 3 pics of a final instar. As Donald says, an indication of size would help. It is very like a goat moth larva which hasnt reached full maturity, leaving my agreement there for now.
Goat Moth larvae should only emerge from inside the wood of the tree they've been feeding on when ready to pupate at which stage they should be almost 100mm long.
Can't suggest what else it might be I'm afraid.
Lat/Lng: 51.3837, 0.571
OS grid ref: TQ790680
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