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Which Caterpillar?
Comments(4) # Which Caterpillar? london e17

I can identify most of the UK's butterflies pretty easily and I'm slowly adding to the Moths too (how did your Moth Watching go, by the way?). Caterpillars though can still be very tricky. This isn't the shot I was going to show you of the Peacock Butterfly caterpillar originally (that was a swarm of them all over a stinging nettle) but when I came across this one in this pose I knew it had to be the one. Apart from the blackness, the spikes and the fact that it's on a stinging nettle, the final confirmation of identification was the orangey-red false legs (which you can't see here). This caterpillar will soon form a chrysalis from which will hatch, a few weeks later, a Peacock Butterfly which, if it survives, will overwinter as an adult and lay eggs next spring. This means that Peacocks are one of the longest living Butterflies....living from hatching one summer through until the next spring. Most other butterfly species spend most of their life in the caterpillar form rather than the adult. Canon EOS 5D
150 mm
200 ISO
1/200 sec
f 11
Flash: Fired