Toadflax Brocade

Earlier today I found this amazing Toadflax Brocade moth caterpillar in our front garden in Greenacres.  This is only the third time I have ever seen this species, and just the second for the garden in over 30 years!

Toadflax Brocade caterpillar, Westfield, RH 17 Sep 2013

Toadflax Brocade caterpillar, Westfield, RH 17 Sep 2013

It is feeding on Purple Toadflax and eating the unripe seedpods, whereas the last one I found here just a few years ago was on the yellow-flowered Common Toadflax.  The Toadflax Brocade moth is mainly a coastal species that has been spreading further inland in more recent years following a decline, but is never common.  The beautifully marked adult emerges from the overwintering pupa in late May and June and a second generation flies in August.  It is also a known migrant from the continent.  More information and a photo of the moth can be seen on the UK moths website (click the red link).

Ralph

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    WESTFIELD WILDLIFE has been created for Westfield residents and visitors to submit news and photos of any wildlife observed in the Parish. We also aim to post our own sightings and topical wildlife news as often as time allows.

    WESTFIELD PARISH lies just to the north of the coastal town of HASTINGS in E. Sussex (south east UK), and a MAP of the area covered by the Parish is here http://www.westfieldvillage.co.uk/maps

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