2021 April 4
Jeremy Tatum writes: I saw a Mourning Cloak (my first ” non-Cabbage” of the year) this afternoon on Mount Tolmie – not on the reservoir, but in a little glade halfway down. Also there was a small moth settled on a tree-trunk. Just as I was wondering what it was, Gordon and Anne-Marie Hart appeared, and Gordon got a nice picture, which revealed that the moth was a pristine fresh Welsh Wave Venusia cambrica.
Also on Mount Tolmie was a batch of Sheep Moth eggs around a twig of Snowberry. Some have holes in them, probably as a result of a parasitoid, and some are collapsed. We’ll have to wait and see if any caterpillars hatch from the remainder. This moth has a long life-history. The eggs will have been laid last year, and they spent the winter in this form. The caterpillars will pupate late in the summer, and a second winter will be spent, this time as pupae, so the adult moths won’t emerge until nearly two years after the eggs were laid.
Welsh Wave Venusia cambrica (Lep.: Geometridae) Gordon Hart
Sheep Moth Hemileuca eglanterina (Lep.: Saturniidae) Jeremy Tatum