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predators in the garden and they attack all manner of real pests including caterpillars, aphids and flies. They feed the chewed remains to their grubs back at the nest. The last five years have been really bad for wasps; either the hibernating queens have
, pinks and yellowy greens.The nondescript green or brown caterpillar feeds on a huge range of native and cultivated plants, but it's usually very secretive and never a pest. It was sitting in its distinctive pose: head down body slightly raised with its
in the region of 50 to 55 mm.In insects, small size is sometimes attributed to poor nutrition during the larval stage. Since painted lady caterpillars feed on thistles, food shortage seems unlikely...unless, perhaps, the recent poor weather meant that its
. Of course, when I took it down to the kitchen and forced it to sit on a large leaf, it refused to adopt a picturesque position.It has a delicate jaunty flutter, hopping this way, then that, through the air. According to my guides the caterpillars feed
of caterpillar droppings in the chewed-out core.I can imagine this might be very tiresome for the apple farmer, and not very pleasant on the tongue when biting into a nice juicy fruit. It bothers me less, because our apples are not actually very tasty. I
't grow cabbages so I'm not too worried. The caterpillars sometimes make a mess of the nasturtiums, but the plants are so vigorous by now that not even a mass attack could do much damage. I had a quick look and sure enough several leaves have clusters
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.
and climbers, making them appear more hedge-like. Maybe the gatekeeper caterpillars, which feed on grasses like other brown butterflies, prefer a more shaded aspect to feed in.Or it may simply be that gatekeepers spend more of their time perching up high
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.