Saturday, 13 July 2013

waspish caterpillar

I read recently, in the "Last Word" section of New Scientist, a piece asking for help to identify an Italian butterfly-like creature.  The questioner couldn't identify it because "it doesn't seem like any butterfly I've seen, nor is it in any of my insect books".  What caught my eye was the implication of ownership of at least three insect books.  We have only the one insect book.  And two butterfly books.  Oh, and a dragonfly book.

Yet none of our books could help us to identify this splendid caterpillar we found in the garden today.
at least it's on a weed
The reason I know that none could have helped is that I looked it up in them, after I had identified it using the web.  To identify it in the first place, I googled "caterpillar black yellow stripes", and got

it seems there are rather a lot of caterpillars using a yellow and black colour palette
Looking through the results identified several promising candidates.  The respective source pages all identified it as the caterpillar of the Cinnabar moth.  The wikipedia page has more details, confirming the identification.  But our insect book doesn't have it.  Neither do our butterfly books (well, it is a moth, I suppose).

Back in the garden, the spiders (which will obviously not be in our insect book) have been busy wrapping up the plants in a dense web.

And the patio roses we bought back in early May are now blooming their hearts out.
The labels must have lied about the colours.  I think we are going to have to separate these!

The weeds are growing apace, but it's way too hot at the moment (28°C) to garden.  So I'm blogging about the garden instead.

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