Sunday, 22 June 2014

Urban biodiversity

We are all familiar with the butterfly bush Buddleja davidii and its horticultural variants, as it is -of course - extremely attractive to butterflies (as well as moths at night). For this reason, it is often planted in gardens where one aim is to attract wildlife.
The mullein moth is easiest recorded by searching for its caterpillars on damaged (ie eaten) leaves of its namesake mullein Verbascum thapsus (and sometimes others), and I`m sure that such larval records account for a fair proportion of Carmarthenshire`s records.
It also occurs on butterfly bush too - not visiting the flowers, but eating its leaves as this individual was in a very urban wildlife garden near the railway station in Llanelli this afternoon.

It`s an easy-to-recognise and colourful caterpillar - look out for it on mullein and butterfly-bush.
Incidentally, last week I saw a butterfly-bush in full flower at a brownfield site at Bynea, Llanelli - very early!

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