Any thoughts on this wriggly resident?

FireFire LondonPosts: 5,321
edited July 2018 in Wildlife gardening
I'm sure many of you lovely people will be on first name terms with this beauty. I put her back under the hedge where I found her. A moth pupa perhaps?




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  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,086
    Looks like a moth pupa to me. Going by the hair colour it could be a garden tiger maybe. You could always hatch it and find out.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,181
    Gulp, I don’t think the sci-fi community could have made that one up..
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,321
    I might. What is the best way to do this?
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Bruges, BelgiumPosts: 748
    The stuff of nightmares.. 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,321
    ... in the eye of the beholder.
  • karen paulkaren paul Posts: 222
    I have reared and kept moths Fire. Deaths head hawk moths, suraka silk moths etc. The kind I have kept have not been British and have needed warmth and humidity (because they can get stuck in their casing) but your little fella seems very active and healthy just where he is. I would go with Tiger moth too looking at its hair but Im only guessing. It looks like it might emerge very soon, the casing starts to darken as they near emergence time and he looks very dark. If you have one of those net laundry baskets you could upturn it with him underneath. They climb upwards at first so that they can hang and dry out their wings (they are wet and folded in that casing) They nearly always hatch out at night or as it goes dusky. You can clearly see his antennae folded around and in front of his head. I keep saying his but I've just looked and I'm pretty sure it's a her (certain v shape at pointy end) Hope you get to see her hatch out! I find it really fascinating. There may be some orange or white stuff splatted about, don't worry this is just her lubrication from inside the casing, lol. Enjoy!
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,321
    Would a wicker basket do ok - lots of air holes, quite big? Like this on its short side?
    I read they like to be snuggled down into earth and leaf mould, which is where I found her. Should I put it in a bowl of that until shes hatch? I've never watched this before - or watched tadpoles change. Or had toads or a pond full of frogs. Lots of firsts for me this year. image

  • karen paulkaren paul Posts: 222
    My deaths heads liked to bury down into soil but once they had done their initial pupating (formed their moth shape) which took up to ten days it was OK to unearth them and just lay them on top of a towel (I misted them once or twice a day but this was an African species, which occasionally migrates to Britain so care would be different) Your moth is very much well formed and I wouldn't be surprised if she hatches in the next couple of nights so yes the wicker basket would be good and just leave her on top of a towel. I'm a bit concerned about the hair sticking out and that she may get dried into her casing so perhaps a very light misting might do her good but I must emphasise I haven't kept a British species before. And really importantly- try to handle her as gently as possible because they're wings are really delicate, certainly no pressure on the casing, they can sometimes have malformed wings. Gently roll her if possible onto something to move her. Put her in the centre of your basket so that she has space all around to emerge and climb up the sides by herself. Good luck. Females by the way don't travel far at all and will spend the first few days sending out pheremones (smells) to attract males. I don't know about your moth but dependant on species they only live for 10 days to a week. She'll lay eggs whether they've been fertilised or not before she dies (same as hens) Seems so sad to spend so much time as a caterpillar for not so long as a beautiful moth :(
  • karen paulkaren paul Posts: 222
    Sorry that was so long, just hoping it's useful to you, lol.
  • karen paulkaren paul Posts: 222
    It should read 10 days to 3 weeks, apologies, it's way past my bedtime, lol.
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