Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Robertstown Caterpillars

On my way home from work, on Monday, I stopped off for an hour at Martin's bit of Robertstown, mainly to look for some Wood Warts on Alder, that I could test with KOH (Potassium Hydroxide), but on my way there, in the piece of ground alongside the river, between the road and rail bridges, I came across a sizeable patch of Hesperus in flower.


I had noticed this patch of flowers, in various shades of lilac and pink, from the bypass, but couldn't work out what they were. Investigating them, I found a few of these apparently parasitised Large White caterpillars.

Parasitised Large White Larve

I also came across this strange looking caterpillar, which turned out to be that of the Orange Tip. It was where you would expect to find it if it was on Lady's Smock, in amongst the seed pods, but on Hesperus, it was a few feet higher off the ground. Due to the breeze, which seemed to be concentrated by the bridges, I had great difficulty in getting any sharp images of this one.

Orange Tip. It was around an inch long

Amongst the Hesperus were a number of plants of Red Campion, which were already producing their urn shaped seed heads and in these, feeding Pooh Bear-like on the seeds, I found around a dozen of these fat caterpillars.

The Lychnis, feeding on Red Campion seeds

These turned out to be The Lychnis, which is a little surprising as the moth is also on the wing at the moment.

That little diversion took up most of my hour and I didn't find much on the Cables site. If you decide to explore this patch, Martin, beware the wasp's nest, close by, in the bank of the railway bridge abutment.


  1. Cheers mark Bare that in mind and was with your mate Paul Denning and I forgot what he called them already and he want to see the common winter green.

  2. They were still flowering well.

  3. Yes there more this year and since they Dredged the river ,

  4. More what, since they dredged the river? The wintergreens are still flowering well is what I meant.

  5. yes and thought you talking about the hesperus on river bank .

  6. That too. It's a pity it has got so tall and flopped all over the place: the Hesperus, I mean.