4 February 2009

Drinker in the snow

There have been a few days of quite deep snow but, as the picture below shows, there is only a relatively light cover remaining in Brede High Woods.

20090204 BHW 7a snow 011

There have also been hard overnight frosts and I was surprised to find a drinker moth (Euthrix potatoria) caterpillar stretched along a blackthorn thorn at about chest height when I was looking, unsuccessfully, for brown hairstreak eggs.

20090204 BHW 8e drinker larva 015

The drinker is a grass-feeding species and the caterpillars normally hibernate in grass tussocks or leaf litter.  I wondered if this example had climbed up the blackthorn in order to raise its body temperature in the morning sunshine before starting to feed

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