Sunday, 26 July 2015

Cwm Clydach - a Postscript

As the weather has been unsuitable for my overnight trapping for the last few nights, I`ve been taking the opportunity to go through some unidentified specimens and photos, including the photo shown below. It is of a caterpillar (one of three of the same) caught by vigorous sweeping of areas of rank vegetation (either in wet flushes or ungrazed rock ledges) at Cwm Clydach, Mynydd Du on 23/7. This distinctive-looking caterpillar seems to fit the size (up to c.40mm) and coloration of a northern drab, as depicted in Jim Porter`s `Caterpillars of the British Isles` (plate 35-I).


5 comments:

  1. Isn't it a Sawfly larva with so many legs? May be wrong though.

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  2. It does seem to have a lot of legs. The large size and the perfect coloration is what suggested northern drab to me - I`d welcome further comments.

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  3. Because it is curled up, it is difficult to see if there is a gap between the thoracic legs and prolegs. The head is in the middle of the `curl` and there is the vaguest suggestion of a gap. Have a look too at pics online of northern drab caterpillars (to see how closely the colour matches)....but it may be a blinking sawfly after all! I wish I had taken a `proper` photo - the above was just a quick `record shot` of the caterpillar placed on a rock after removing from the net.

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  4. Definitely a sawfly Ian, as Sam say too many prolegs

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  5. Thanks both! What a `copycat caterpillar`, with ref to the exact coloration) of a northern drab caterpillar....it`s exactly the same in colour but- importantly- not in morphology! You live and learn!

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