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. The branches are bare of leaves and several of the bushes are completely defoliated. The culprits are not hard to spot: small speckled greyish sawfly caterpillars. If they keep on like this B. thunbergii is doomed.
, the first was earlier this year when I reared one from a larva. They must, in fact, be very common, because the caterpillars are all over the place. These spiky psychedelic toothbrushes are unmistakable, with their four dorsal tufts of bright yellow bristles
completely different foodplants. Butterflies in the spring emergence lay their eggs on holly and their caterpillars feed on the developing buds. When these insects reach adulthood in late-summer they lay their eggs on ivy flower buds. At least
Dulwich). All ichneumons are parasitic, laying their eggs in a wide range of insects, but especially moth and butterfly caterpillars. The venom injected at the same time contains an immunosuppressant, preventing the immune system of the host insect from
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