It's the larva or caterpillar of the moth Helcystogramma rufescens, see http://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/helcystogramma-rufescens & http://ukmoths.org.uk/show.php?bf=869 .Of the family Gelechiidae or "twirler moths"!
Thanks for the identification of the larva of Helcystogramma rufescens. The moth is quite common around here, but I had never noticed the larva before. The moth does not figure in South's "Moths of the British Isles". Is there any significance in this? This report comes from Beara in Co. Cork in Ireland. Charmian Arbuckle
It's remarkable to hear from you after so long Charmian, as this question was posted years ago, & I only noticed it initially as 1 of many that had been marked as "assumed answered" even though it hadn't had any answer at all,& picked it & 8 other striking examples that didn't deserve to be 'dumped' as answered (you cant distinguish answered from assumed answered questions from the list).5 of the 9 had already been answered by me or others,but you're the 1st one to reply. Anyway while ID'g my moth photos in ukmoths I bumped into the solution.
I see from Wikipedia's list of Irish species, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_moths_of_Ireland#Family_Gelechiidae that H. rufescens is in the list.
Not being a moth expert South's Moths of the British isles was news to me, but it's surprisingly on the 'net (1907 edn) which said in preface that ' the "small fry" (ie MicroLepidoptera) have therefore been left for separate treatment at some more convenient season'.
NB if you think this question to have been answered do mark it as such, as "assumed answered" has no meaning
So,any unanswered question over about a year old has been marked by staff as 'assumed answered' hence these 2 are 'assumeds' with no answers, http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/thread/9662 & http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/thread/9579 They're currently at about page 52 of 96
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/community/identification?view=all&fromGateway=true#/?page=52 so from there down all questions with no answers are marked 'assumed answered' & there are no unanswered questions at all