Llandrindod Pomarium

Eich Perllan Gymunedol - Your Community Orchard

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Ruby Tiger Moth, Phragmatobia fuliginosa

As an antidote to last week's uncalled-for and gratuitous spider, here's a pretty one! At least, the adult is rather splendid, with shades of pink or red highlighting an otherwise ordinary-looking moth (furry body, mostly brownish). However, it's still too early in the season for that (they might appear in late April), so for now you'll have to settle for a caterpillar.
 
But what a caterpillar! It's a fabulous thing with a coat of spine whorls covering the whole surface. Although there are other similar species out there, look for the black head as another indicator of its identity… if you can get it to unroll itself!
 
The caterpillars feed on a wide range of plants, including plantains and docks, of which there are clumps aplenty amongst the grass of the orchard. We've not yet run a moth trapping event at the orchard, but that's something I'd like to organise in the summer, if anyone is interested?
 
Phragmatobia fuliginosa caterpillar
 
 
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