Sunday, 31 May 2009

Mullein caterpillar - Shargacucullia verbasci

Shredded. Turned into a stump of white dust. That's one of my garden verbascum's, thanks to a visit from the mullein moth (Shargacucullia verbasci) caterpillar.

Here, you can see the beautifully marked caterpillars at work, absolutely destroying a vigorous plant.

They also love buddleias.

Their big juicy bodies are food for the parasitic ichneumon wasp (phion luteus).

The caterpillars make silk cocoons and overwinter in the soil.

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