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Puss Moth Caterpillars

Cerura vinula


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.


On Creeping Willow - Salix repens


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 7 years ago

Nice story! watermelon caterpillar!

armadeus.4 7 years ago

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

MayraSpringmann 9 years ago

Wow! The second captures this amazing!

sburgosj 9 years ago


achmmad 9 years ago


craigwilliams 9 years ago

Thanks FoTony!

craigwilliams 9 years ago

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

Rebecka Mason
Rebecka Mason 9 years ago

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

FoTony 9 years ago

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

craigwilliams 9 years ago

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

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 9 years ago

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

LarryGraziano 9 years ago

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

MaryEvans2 9 years ago

wonderful series of great shots. what a great spotting!

DoinaRussu 9 years ago

great spotting! congratulations!

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 9 years ago

Congratulations craigwilliams

ShaumingLo 9 years ago

Good job and congrats Craigwilliams

craigwilliams 9 years ago

Thanks for the kind comments everyone!

Wild Things
Wild Things 9 years ago


ctboygl 9 years ago

oh, awesome !!

victoria.vikspics 9 years ago

great shot, love the water droplet

Eva Varga
Eva Varga 9 years ago


UmapornSarasat 9 years ago

very nice pics...Congrats. :)

Saarbrigger 9 years ago

Wow. Impressive pictures. Great series.

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 9 years ago

Congratulations Craig...!!

mishmush 9 years ago

Great stuff mate.

Spotted by

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England, United Kingdom

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

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