Saturday, 20 August 2011

More Comma Caterpillar photos…

For those of you who have perhaps missed the previous ‘pillar posts, you can catch up:

and Here

I managed to find a helpful website which stated that second brood Commas overwinter as adults, this means these dudes should hopefully have pupated and hatched in a few weeks so I will be able to cut back the nettles.

It has to be said though… I have been tempted to bring them indoors, cut the nettles back but leave some there so I can feed them. That way I can dig some of the patch up and not worry about disturbing any? But then there’s always the risk that there are some eggs on the plants.

So, today I had a little look at my dude, just to check it was still alive…

I’m not entirely certain what it was trying to do…

Then I looked at the rest of the nettles to gauge whether it had eaten anything; slightly concerned that the leaf it was on doesn’t appear to have been nibbled.
Anyway, what I found instead was this lurking under a leaf:

It is clearly much more advanced compared to little dude…

Now my curiosity was piqued I looked harder and found this:

This one is on its last instar, I so I suspect will begin to pupate very soon

It wasn’t very obliging for photos though! Who’d have thought these two larger ones remained unnoticed, I guess it must mean they’re actually quite well camouflaged!

When searching the nettles for further inhabitants I came across this:

Virtual cookies for whomever can identify it… *I’m sure someone will be able to!*
I've actually seen quite a few of them this year but this is the first time I had my camera handy.

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


Cheryl said...

Hi Liz,

Great to see all those caterpillars.
Your garden will be full of butterflies next year.
With the decline in many species, it is great to read about them on your blog and know they are doing well.
I have a patch of nettles which I leave....havn't found any butterfly eggs, but the ladybirds used them.

I am posting safari on 'wildlife sanctuary' now on a regular basis, if you are interested.
Thought I would use that blog, just to show the wildlife I have managed to capture, with my camera, during the week.

Happy Sunday.......

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

More extraordinary photos! I really must have a poke around in the nettles I left up at the allotment, see if anybody has taken up residence. No idea what those strange red stripey dudes are.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

I found another final instar Comma today... ooooh, it's so exiting! Although I cannot see little dude anywhere :( Hopefully he's just hiding in the dense parts where I'm not venturing for fear of being stung.

What type of nettles do you have? I assume you have stinging nettles? These were clearly in some compost I laid on the new border - I guess the manufacturers used the nettles to help add lots of yummy nutrients... I allowed them to grow even though I could tell they were common nettles and didn't actually know Commas eat the common ones. I left them purely because I intended to make nettle soup for the plants. But now I have a much better reason to leave them!

I hope you had a nice Sunday too :)

Liz said...

Hi Janet,

I'd imagine if you have Stinging Nettles on your 'lottie then you'll probably have Peacock and Small Tort 'pillars on there! I do hope so anyway!

A hint for the mystery stripey beast... It's a gardener's friend.

Anna said...

Liz, your post has made me realise that I have not seen a single caterpillar this year :( Time maybe for me to venture nearer to my nettle patch. Sorry to read about the decimated tree - I had a similar experience a couple of years ago but the tree will eventually fill out again.