|A mature larva of the Old Lady moth Mormo maura. Note the bright orange spiracles along the side, and the black marks in the rear half. Approx 60mm long.|
|Head of larva of Mormo maura - note the shiny, speckled head capsule with ocelli (simple eyes) and small antennae|
M. maura is a common species and I have previously seen adults in our garden, including one roosting in a shed. Ivy (Hedera helix) is one of its main food plants and we have plenty of that so it is not a surprise to see this species.
A couple of months ago, a series of storms destroyed many garden fences (not to mention causing widespread flooding) in the UK and while clearing up the debris, I found several pupae that had been dislodged. Most were put in our 'bug hotel' but a few were taken indoors to be hatched. One of these emerged a couple of days ago and proved to another common species, the Bright-line Brown-eye Lacanobia oleracea. It feeds on a wide range of woody and herbaceous plants and again is no surprise, but did provide some photo opportunities prior to release.
|L. oleracea - the bright line is along the rear edge of the wings, the brown eye refers to the kidney-spots in this species.|
|Close-up of the wings showing the scale-patterns.|
|Side view showing the hairy and tufted thorax.|