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Little weeeed


Can some knowledgable person tell me what this pupa will turn into?  It's about 1" long (2.5cm for youngsters

).  I thought pupas appeared in springtime - is it normal for a pupa to appear at this time of year.  The more I learn about gardening, (mostly from this site) the more I realise how much I still have to learn!





Try this link - it might be a grey dagger moth pupa

Obviously the pupa is inert and will do neither good nor harm, but the caterpillar of the moth will eat prunus leaves and may other trees and shrubs.

The caterpillar is very pretty - it has a yellow back and little 'faces' on its side, and has a dagger. There's a thread on the forum somewhere.

It might be the Orange Underwing moth?

Little weeeed

I've had a look at the links and I think it looks like the grey dagger but since I have no trees or fruit bushes I don't know where it came from.  Thanks for taking the time to help. 



there are rather a lot that look superficially the same


That is one I always squash if I find it when digging.  The name escapes me at the moment but I think it is a baddie.


is it not a leatherjacket or crane fly larvae. (daddy long legs). The grubs eat the roots of grasses and cause dead patches in the lawn.

Until a few days ago I also would have said it was a leather jacket, so it could be a common mistake. As little weeeed points out, in gardening there is a lot to learn (and in my case, to unlearn).


I Googled leatherjacket larvae and I got a pic identical to the one above.  Keep it as a pollinator if you wish, I squish them.

No, sorry Welsh, it's definitely not a leatherjacket. Leatherjacket larvae are immature daddy long legs and I was once "cut" by one on the finger. What can chew a root can chew a finger!


this is a chrysalis, leatherjackets are crane fly larvae and  are dirty grey in colour

waterbutts, I guess you were cut by handling the spines on the cranefly pupa, they have spines so they can move up or down underground during wet and dry periods (from Dove's link above), but in the pupal stage it will not eat.

As has been said - lots of these brown pupa cases look similar, only when the creature emerges will we know what it is.

To clarify chrysalis, it is the pupal stage of a butterfly, so it is a pupa. A pupa though, if it contains (e.g.) a cranefly, is not a chrysalis. I think. Too easy to get confused.  


Sorry Peter, I really don't care for the esoteric difference, I still squish them.



I thought everybody liked butterflies Welshonion

So far as I know, true flies, members of the diptera group, have only three stages, egg, larva and imago. They don't pupate. Leatherjackets are the larval stage of the crane fly's development and they most definitely do chew. They are a well-known eater of the roots of lawn grasses. 

The photo that initiated this thread shows a chrysalis of the Noctuidae group of moths. That is the pupal stage which occurs between larva and imago. Pupae don't eat, that is true.

It would be a shame to squish a chrysalis if you don't know what you are squishing. It may be a friend or at least something to admire when it hatches out..



I love butterflies, but I guarantee that thing will not hatch out into a butterfly or handsome moth.  It is not a chrysalis but a pupa of a baddie.

In general I am a conservationist in the garden and seemingly in the house as I had a bat flying around my head as I watched TV the other night.

Perhaps little weeeed can capture the next one and keep it until it hatches and tell us all what it is.


I don't know whether to laaugh or cry

Yeah. A little weed always causes confusion. You know what I mean.