Grey Dagger caterpillar -Acronicta psi (Garden)

Wingspan 30-40 mm.

The ‘daggers’ get their English names from the black dagger-like markings on the forewings.

This moth is almost impossible to tell by the markings alone from the Dark Dagger (A. tridens), and reference usually has to be made to the genitalia for confirmation. The caterpillars of the two species are quite different, however.

It flies between June and August and is common throughout England, Wales and Ireland, scarcer in Scotland.

The colourful larva is marked with red and yellow and has a tall ‘hump’ on the back, close to the head…. Uk Moths

Broom Moth Caterpillar – Ceramica pisi (St Davids, Wales)

Wingspan 32-37 mm. A very variable species, with the ground colour varying between greyish brown to a dark chestnut colour, and the intensity of the markings varying too.

Inhabiting open woodland and heathland, it is quite common in most of Britain.

It flies between May and July, and is attracted to light.

The distinctive brown and yellow striped caterpillar feeds not only on broom (Cytisus scoparius), but also on bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) and other trees and plants… UK Moths

Pale Prominent Pterostoma palpina- Moth (Caterpillar) River Cam


Wingspan 35-55 mm.

A distinctive moth when at rest, though well camouflaged, it has long labial palps and tufts on the tail segment, creating an elongated appearance.

Occurring throughout much of Britain, it is most common in the south.

It flies in May and June, and in the south, again in August.

The larval foodplants are poplar (Populus), and sallow (Salix)… UK Moths



This is UK Moths photo but shows you what the moth looks like

Polygonia comma caterpillar (Gamlingay Woods WTNR)

On emerging, the young larva moves to the underside of a leaf where it feeds. As it matures it feeds on the upperside of the leaf and is quite unmistakable, resembling a bird dropping. This stage lasts around 5 weeks, depending on temperature. Larvae of the first brood moult 4 while those of the second brood moult 3 times.

A poor photo considering it didn’t move, but it was just out of reach.


Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar -Deilephila elpenor (Gransden Wood WTNR)

 The caterpillars are seen from July to September and are very characteristic: greyish-green or brown with two enormous, black eyespots towards the head. When disturbed, they swell up to show these spots and scare-off predators. The caterpillars feed on willowherbs, fuchsia and bedstraw, and the adults feed on nectar. The caterpillars overwinter as chrysalides, hidden amongst low vegetation or in the soil.

To see the adult moth click here 

Emperor Moth Caterpillar (st Davids, Wales)



Emperor Moth ,Saturnia pavonia
Wingspan 40-60 mm.

The spectacular Emperor moth is Britain’s only resident member of the Saturniidae family. It is reasonably common over much of Britain, occupying moorland and open country.

The males, which have bright orange hindwings, fly during the daytime in search of the greyer females, which fly at night. Both sexes are on the wing in April and May.

The fully grown caterpillar is green with black hoops containing yellow wart-like spots, and feeds on moorland plants such as heather (Calluna) and bramble (Rubus).





This is what the caterpillar will look like as a moth