The Lobster Moth

I caught a Lobster moth in my trap last night. It is a relatively common moth in southern Britain and is associated with old woodland and trees.

Lobster moth
When at rest the hind wings protrude from under the forewings. This individual is a male as you can see the feathery brown antennae. The moth is named after its crustacean – like caterpillar.

Stauropus_fagi_larvaBy Wilhelmhelmut  via Wikimedia Commons
The caterpillar is very distinctive and unusually has ‘legs’ which it waves about when disturbed. The first instar caterpillars look like an ant and feed exclusively on its own egg case which it vigorous defends. After the first instar the caterpillar feeds on the leaves of trees such as beech, oak or hazel.

Here is a video of a lobster moth caterpillar from Bugphotographer’s Channel on YouTube.

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