Cinnabar

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Cinnabar

Postby donaldsmith » Tue 18 Aug 2009 20:10

We found two caterpillars of the cinnabar moth (we presume - yellow and black striped on ragwort) at Clerkington, near Haddington in East Lothian - I remember seeing them at Aberlady in the past, but not inland - is this unusual?
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Re: Cinnabar

Postby barry prater » Thu 20 Aug 2009 22:51

Hi Donald

Thanks for sending in this sighting. I can see Clerkington on the map, but it would help if you could let me have an OS grid reference of exactly where you saw the caterpillars. Failing that can you describe the spot? The Cinnabar is still mainly coastal in Scotland, but is certainly spreading inland, especially across the Borders.

Barry
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Re: Cinnabar

Postby donaldsmith » Fri 21 Aug 2009 11:12

Dear Barry,

Grid reference is NT508725 - just where the river takes a bend near the road - habitat is a haugh by the river grazed by horses and cut once a year. Have been looking out for more but not seen any - the pupae didnt' form properly for some reason, so no moth, but there isn't much room for doubt is there.

Donald
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Re: Cinnabar

Postby barry prater » Thu 03 Sep 2009 19:46

Hi Donald

Thanks for the details - I've been away hence the delay in getting back to you.

I'm a bit puzzled by your comment on the pupae. This year's caterpillars will pupate beneath the ground and the adult moth will not appear until next May/June so success can only be judged then perhaps. Were you expecting to see pupae on plants?

Let me know what you think.

Cheers

Barry
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Re: Cinnabar

Postby donaldsmith » Fri 04 Sep 2009 11:57

Dear Barry,

Sorry for the confusion - we kept the caterpillars in a jar and fed them fresh leaves - only one thrived and pupated, but the pupa didn't develop properly - so I meant that we wouldn't see a moth emerging to confirm.

Donald
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Re: Cinnabar

Postby admin » Fri 04 Sep 2009 19:10

Hi Donald,

Did you manage to provide any soil/peat for the caterpillar to burrow into to pupate? This is quite a common requirement for many moth species and often stops or affects pupation.

It would be nice if you could upload any photos of the caterpillars/pupa? (If you can crop them and size the photo down to maybe 400 pixels then that wold be good.)

Cheers
Mark
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Re: Cinnabar

Postby donaldsmith » Mon 07 Sep 2009 12:49

No I didn't put in any moss or soil - thanks for the suggestion. And I'm afraid I didn't take any pictures either! Will know where to look next year though .....

Donald
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