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665 Views 6 Replies Last post: May 31, 2014 7:20 AM by MikeHardman RSS
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Apr 30, 2014 2:50 PM

Caterpillar devouring the ivy

We have an ivy (helix) growing up against the wall of our house here in North Yorkshire. Over the past few weeks a number of large, grey caterpillars have been devouring the ivy leaves. They are only noticeable at night and they leave green pellet like deposits on the ground around the base of the ivy. The caterpillars are approximately two to three inches long, elephant grey in colour with small black marks along either uppersides of their bodies and a semi-circular black mark on their tail-end. They blend in extremely well with the mature stems of the ivy so are difficult to view. Our neighbour has exactly the same infestation in his ivy. We cannot remember ever having seen anything like these creatures before.

 

I would greatly appreciate any help in identifying these.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 30, 2014 2:57 PM (in response to incubus)
    Re: Caterpillar devouring the ivy

    Unless one of our readers happens to know this one, we're going to need a close-up photo or two...

    Without that we can't even say if it is a moth / butterfly / sawfly / or something else.

     

    Mike

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      • Currently Being Moderated
        May 2, 2014 8:36 PM (in response to incubus)
        Re: Caterpillar devouring the ivy

        Unfortunately, it is not one I recognize, other than to say it is probably a moth.

         

        UKmoths includes lots of caterpillar photos, but you might have to do a lot of browsing before you found a match - http://ukmoths.org.uk.

        That's the best I can suggest. But there's a chance somebody else here may recognize it.

         

        Mike

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            May 31, 2014 7:20 AM (in response to incubus)
            Re: Caterpillar devouring the ivy

            Tim,

             

            Well done; thanks for letting us know; you can mark your own post as 'Correct'.

             

            Your description is that of the basic model of a moth/butterfly larva (there are exceptions, at least superficially). If you find another larva, which does not fit that model, it is probably something else, such as a sawfly.

             

            Mike

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