I have had a slow start to the mothing year, finding only one or two moths in the trap.
Last night after the warmest day so far, I was hoping for a few. Checking the trap before bed, I noticed something rather large on the window of the house.
It was a large moth ! I was soooooo excited and shouted to OH to bring a tub, normally I collect moths in a plastic toothpick jar or a tiny tub.
"quick bring a tub"
"which one ?"
"The largest one you can find !!! "
Turned out to be a Puss Moth, with the most beautiful markings I have seen.
A gentle giant, made no fuss having it's photo taken.
The eccentric beatuy of the Puss moth caterpillar, turns into an elegant Puss moth. The Puss moth (Cerura vinula) is covered with soft cat-like fur, hence the name Puss moth. The striking nature of the beautiful black and grey marbled markings, make it quite an easy moth to identify.
Fairly widespread throughout the UK, Puss moths can usually be seen flying at night between the months of May and July. As herbivores, they mainly eat leaves from trees such as poplar, sallow and willow. Their diet, means they are most likely to be found in habitats such as woodland, park areas or even in your back garden.
The Puss moth lays a small numbers of eggs on their food plants. When the caterpillar first emerges from the egg, it’s black in colour with what looks like a long double tail extending from its abdomen.
The caterpillar then goes through several different periods of change known as Instars. Within a short period of time the caterpillar turns into a much larger, green caterpillar with a dark coloured patch, on its back.
The markings of the Puss Moth caterpillar’s face are what make them so distinctive, giving the impression of a red ringed cartoon-like face. (link) Buglife
On checking the trap in the morning , there was not a single moth to be found :(