This Leopard Moth literally fell out the tree at my home in Dorset, in the bucketing rain last night (though she was totally dry).
I popped it in a tub so I could release it in the sunshine (finally) today, however she has gone and laid her eggs in the tub.
Some of them are actually on the walls so wont scrape off without damage.
I think I have her I.D correct but an experts opinion is welcome. She is dying now by the looks of it after being spent but I am wondering how to care for the eggs.
First though, will the caterpillers be considered a pest? Should I keep them til hatching (how long?) & release in the garden or somewhere else?
How should I store them? Also is there any 'Moth' places that would be interested in the details?
I would love some advice please.
Leopard moth caterpillars aren't too fussy about their foodplants, I reckon they will eat most plants in the rose family (Rosaceae). If you have hawthorn nearby, try them on that, I have raised lots of caterpiggles on hawthorn!
Have they hatched yet? Put them on some fresh leaves in their pot, then you can realease them onto a hawthorn plant once they seem happy, keep an eye out for frass (caterpillar poo) then you will know they are feeding well.
Good luck to you and your caterpillars!
Wait, I actually reckon these caterpillars might be wood borers, so maybe not so big on leaves...
I would avoid them like the plague they almost destroyed a few of my trees