Al Fredericksson

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Sycamore Moth Caterpillar

This fabulous photograph was taken by Steve Cantrell, a Burton Joyce U3A member (to whom I am grateful for permission to reproduce it here). He didn’t recognise it, so it was posted in the U3A Newsline. When I saw the picture, I had a vague memory of seeing one in a book many years ago. I found the book – Butterflies & Moths in Britain and Europe, by David Carter, published by the British Museum (Natural History) in 1982, which I had bought on a visit to the Natural History Museum in the 1980s. And there it was – theĀ caterpillar of the Sycamore Moth, Acronicta aceris. According to the book, the moth is widespread throughout continental Europe but in Britain mainly confined to the southern half of England. The adult moth is varying shades of grey in colour, and has a wingspan of 35 – 45 mm. They fly at night, mainly in June & July, but may be found resting on tree trunks during the day.

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