2015 March 25
Libby Avis sends a photo of an almost full-grown Lorquin’s Admiral caterpillar from her greenhouse in Alberni. This is astonishingly early for a caterpillar in this stage; at this time of year they would normally be found in their overwintering stage, which is a tiny first-instar caterpillar. Presumably the combination of greenhouse plus mild winter did the trick. It was feeding on Scouler’s Willow, one of the usual foodplants.
Libby seems to be getting far more moths up there than we do here in Victoria, for she writes: Starting to get quite a bit of activity at the light now – we`re up to 28 species for March so far, but pretty much the usual suspects:
Lithophane – baileyi, innominata, petulca and georgii
Xylena – nupera, curvimacula
Egira – hiemalis and several crucialis
Acerra normalis, Anticlea vasiliata, Cerastis enigmatica, Ypsolopha falciferella, Pleromelloida conserta (both dark and light versions) and a couple of Zale lunata
Piles of Triphosa, Orthosia (both hibisci and praeses) and numerous Peridroma saucia.
Several Eupithecia including one gilvipennata which is not that common here.