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in the long grass and herbage (away from flowers) for moth caterpillars in which to lay its eggs. This is the first time I've seen it in the garden. It sunned itself for a few seconds, then it was off.
all over south London, caused by caterpillars of the tiny moth Cameraria ohridella. Sure enough, the maple was growing right next door to a horse-chestnut so heavily attacked that it had browned prematurely for autumn.It turns out that this recent
hand, the caterpillars of the rose sawfly, Arge pagana, shredded whole branches a few years ago so I waged war with a pair of narrow tweezers, squishing each one I came across.
the spiky black orange and white caterpillars, but I expect them to be around shortly.
, where birds such as sparrows can hunt for caterpillars and garden pests. A clean bird bath provides them with water to drink and clean their feathers (which enables them to insulate themselves against the cold).There’s nothing like that in my garden
jam) and watched the ladybirds stumbling around like the bride's uncle at a wedding reception. I also wandered off to the vegetable garden and sneered at the caterpillars on the kale leaves.And now, as I sit here in my office there is a large and noisy
, stilt-like legs and stiff T-shaped stance. I think it’s most likely the common bindweed plume, Emmelina monodactyla. I’ve got the tiny caterpillars chewing the bindweed leaves in my garden.There are about 40 UK plume-moth species, but as my colleague
, but one I have not seen for some time, indeed, probably not since finding it in my parents’ garden 40 years ago. The small bristly black and brown boot-brush of a caterpillar eats almost anything, and it is quite at home in downland, heaths, woods, parks
, but the larvae, with their larger than expected size and strange almost caterpillar-like scuttling habit, are more likely to be incorrectly identified. All too often people tell me they have squashed them, believing them to be garden pests, when in fact
. They are in desperate need of some good PR. Having spent the last four or five months diligently, but rather secretively, helping the gardener by eating caterpillars, aphids, flies and other insects, now is the time they start making a nuisance of themselves around