I love to see butterflies in the garden, sadly there seem to be fewer these days. Strange as it may seem for a gardener, I also like to see caterpillars and often wonder what kind of butterfly or moth they will grow in to.

We’re all familiar with the caterpillar of the Large White butterfly chomping it’s way through our nasturtiums. As a child I remember my grandad growing them and collecting the caterpillars in a match box.

Each year our Solomons Seal is devoured by sawfly larva. It doesn’t harm the plant, but does look a mess.

sawflylarva    sawfly    

A few years ago I discovered a very ornate caterpillar in the hawthorn hedge, but have no idea who he was. Another year we were sat on the bench in the field when a small army of furry brown caterpillars came marching towards us through the grass.

We don’t know who they where or where they had come from, but they certainly knew where they were going, as all were heading in exactly the same direction.

Today I was trying to catch up on some weeding and was about to pull out a rather large ragwort, when I noticed it was covered in yellow and black striped caterpillars that were new to me.

I left the plant alone as it wasn’t a danger to any livestock and came indoors to try to discover what kind of caterpillars they were.

Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing? It took only moments to discover that these were the caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth. Fascinating.

cinnabar caterpillar    hairybittercress