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Drinker Moth Caterpillar (Philudoria potatoria)


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Drinker moths are fairly widespread throughout Britain. It gets its name from the caterpillar's habit of drinking large droplets of rainwater or dew from the grass stems on which they feed. Although the caterpillars are quite large and impressive, the moth itself is large but plain with a wingspan of around 50mms. Male drinker moths, seen in July, are reddish-brown with orange veins running through the wings. They have an orange furry body. The females are larger and generally more yellowish, with a much larger abdomen. Both have two whitish markings in the centre of the forewing. The very dark, large hairy caterpillars of this moth can be seen from August to September and April to June. The moths normally start flying in July. The caterpillars feed on coarse grass and reed, hibernating from October to April when they resume feeding. The caterpillars pupate in June. Picture taken at Stevington, Bedfordshire 15th June 2006

2nd Jul 2006 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Caterpillar Insect Animal creature moth

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