Monday, May 4, 2009

Looper caterpillar











I found this little green caterpillar, not much more than a centimetre long, dangling from a silken thread under a twig of an alder tree. I gather that a lot of small caterpillars that are hunted by tits and warblers use this as a ‘last resort’ escape mechanism. When I put it back on a leaf it showed two other anti-predator behaviours, first aligning itself with the edge of the leaf and then ‘freezing’, like a tiny green twig. Must be a hazardous life for these bite-sized caterpillars at the moment, when tits have so many mouths to feed.

11 comments:

  1. Great detail in that last shot Greenfingers, and a perfect name for them, the way they move.

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  2. Great close-ups with lovely detail.

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  3. I just found one of those on my tomato plants. It was very agile and fast, and jumped very easily from one leaf to another. But it is eating the leaves so i'll have to kill them.

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  4. Hi Ruben,yes, unfortunately they're a bit indiscriminate in what they'll eat...

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  5. Do you know the species? I have found lots of this catterpillar in my garden in Holland and I trying to find the species...

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  6. I think is a geometridae moth...but I don't know the species

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  7. Hi Jan, Yes I think it's definitely a geometrid buy I'm sorry to say I don't know the species - there are so many of them. There are a lot of geometrid caterpillars on the hawthorn tree in my garden this year...

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  8. Thanks for the photo. I found one of these in amongst some elderflowers that I'd cut for cordial and was wondering what kind of caterpiller it was.

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  9. Hi Vicky, there are scores of different species of moth with caterpillars like this.... and I still don't know exactly what species this is...

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  10. I have just found a brown looper, about 2.5 cms long hanging by a silken thread from my bedroom ceiling about two feet down. Fantastic camouflage - it looked just like a tiny twig, but what was it doing there and which species is it?

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    Replies
    1. Hello Anne, Not really possible to ID it without seeing it but almost certainly a geometrid moth. Has probably come indoors for the winter - many stop feeding now, seek shelter they resume feeding in spring

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