Tuesday 6 November 2012

Plenty of these caterpillars lurking under stones on the steep slopes around Rhoose Point, I'm guessing one of the Tiger moths, probably Ruby Tiger?  They are about 30mm long.

And as moths are a bit thin on the ground at the moment, here's a pic of a bristletail I found over the weekend.  The narrow ocelli that run the full length below the eyes indicate it is one of the two Petrobius species found in the UK.  It is most likely P. maritimus given that I found it just on the landward side of the sea cliff, but I can't be sure about that.  There don't seem to be many records of these, but I guess there are not many people looking for them.


  1. I wonder if this might be Cream-spot Tiger? It looks very dark for Ruby Tiger.


  2. You could be right there George. I opted for possible Ruby Tiger on the basis of size, it didn't look as if it had enough bulk to produce a Cream-spot tiger, but maybe they hibernate in the larval stage and feed again in the spring?

  3. Yes, they overwinter part grown. Looking at photos on the web, the colour of the larvae appears variable from mid brown to black.

    Ruby Tiger overwinters full grown - they get darker in the spring but are usually gingery brown at this time of year.

  4. It would explain why I get so many Cream-spot Tigers in my garden trap whereas Ruby Tigers are much less frequent. The caterpillar in the photo was from a steep slope just below my house (less than 30 yds away) and there were half a dozen others within a short distance. It's another good reason for keeping these areas free of scrub, especially buddleja which would shade out the food plants - are CST's a species that require a warm, open sun-baked habitat I wonder? Thanks George!