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Puss Moth Caterpillars

Cerura vinula

Description:

The second photo shows the defensive posture they strike when disturbed. They rear up, assuming an impressive thorny appearance and extend red flagellae from their twin 'tails'. If this posturing is ignored they can squirt formic acid at the attacker from the flagellae. The last photo shows an the early instar, much magnified. With the naked eye, these just look like a dead bit of leaf or twig.

Habitat:

On Creeping Willow - Salix repens

Notes:

Seeing these caterpillars fulfilled a childhood dream! I had an album of collectors cards from boxes of PG Tips tea, which featured this beauty. I was really into butterflies 'n' beasties as well as all things to do with space travel & sci-fi. The Puss Moth caterpillar looked just like it had a space helmet on to me and I wanted to see one really badly. It wasn't until this year that that finally happened!

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44 Comments (1–25)

Diaz José Miguel
Diaz José Miguel 6 years ago

Nice story! watermelon caterpillar!

armadeus.4
armadeus.4 6 years ago

Fantastic shots Craig! The second pic shows the defensive posture in such amazing detail. Thank you for sharing :)

MayraSpringmann
MayraSpringmann 8 years ago

Wow! The second captures this amazing!

sburgosj
sburgosj 8 years ago

:O

achmmad
achmmad 8 years ago

Gorgeous!

craigwilliams
craigwilliams 8 years ago

Thanks FoTony!

craigwilliams
craigwilliams 8 years ago

I know how you feel Rebecka! These were in Kew Gardens.

Rebecka Mason
Rebecka Mason 8 years ago

You saw this in London? Wow! The only things I see in London are cars and people...

FoTony
FoTony 8 years ago

Very nice capture! A specially the angle of the first photo!

craigwilliams
craigwilliams 8 years ago

Thank you Leuba, Ig, Mary, Doina, Sachin and ShaumingLo!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 8 years ago

Great work Craig ! - Really lovely pictures and thanks for the interesting information.

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 8 years ago

Spectacular Craig! Sure is nice to fulfill dreams!!!!

MaryEvans2
MaryEvans2 8 years ago

wonderful series of great shots. what a great spotting!

DoinaRussu
DoinaRussu 8 years ago

great spotting! congratulations!

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 8 years ago

Congratulations craigwilliams

ShaumingLo
ShaumingLo 8 years ago

Good job and congrats Craigwilliams

craigwilliams
craigwilliams 8 years ago

Thanks for the kind comments everyone!

Wild Things
Wild Things 8 years ago

Congratulations.

ctboygl
ctboygl 8 years ago

oh, awesome !!

victoria.vikspics
victoria.vikspics 8 years ago

great shot, love the water droplet

Eva Varga
Eva Varga 8 years ago

Awesome!

UmapornSarasat
UmapornSarasat 8 years ago

very nice pics...Congrats. :)

Saarbrigger
Saarbrigger 8 years ago

Wow. Impressive pictures. Great series.

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 8 years ago

Congratulations Craig...!!

mishmush
mishmush 8 years ago

Great stuff mate.

craigwilliams
Spotted by
craigwilliams

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England, United Kingdom

Spotted on Jul 17, 2011
Submitted on Oct 13, 2011

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