Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Identity crisis – help!

Last Sunday we found two cunningly camouflaged caterpillars on our small shrubby willow. They've been there all week, in the morning we wander down to the end of the lawn to see if they are still there, how many more leaves they've chomped through amd how much bigger they've grown.

This evening the smaller of the two looks like this . . .

I was chuffed when Dean of Mostly Macro confirmed my ID of these as Sallow Kitten Moth caterpillars.

Well, now I'm not so sure – this is what the larger caterpillar now looks like . . .

Has the kitten grown up? Is it a Puss Moth caterpillar after all? Any moth experts out there – help!

Saturday 19th July pm . . . BREAKING NEWS . . .
Now I know why even Dean was fooled! Those clever little blighters are wearing 'Sallow Kitten Moth look-alike' costumes and then they shed them to reveal the scary-monster Puss Moth caterpillar outfit complete with false eyes and whirly twirly pink whips which protrude from their back legs – yes, the twin tails are adapted back legs - how wicked is that!!!!

Here is the younger caterpillar doing his quick costume change . . .


  1. That is a Puss Moth, Celia. Obviously, i got it wrong. I went on the small size as the ones i found were huge. But then again, both of yours should be about the same size as each other.

    My apologies. Bet no one asks me for an id again :)

  2. I'd be totally useless in identifying them but aren't they beautiful - fabulous photographs!

  3. Dean - you're still streets ahead of most of us when it comes to identifying a creep crawly!
    We had no idea they were in disguise!!!!


  4. Thanks Celia.

    They definately had me fooled.

  5. To find these in your garden, they look as if from the tropics. I haven't ever seen anything nearly as colourful in my garden, or as amazing. Fantastic photos.

  6. Hi Dean – I was so excited to find these in the garden!

    Gina - the colours and patterns on them is stunning!

    Louise - keep checking, if you steer clear of chemicals and aren't too tidy! Grow some native species (or some closely related) and see who turns up - you'll be amazed!



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