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What do my Caterpillars Eat?

I found a couple of lesser yellow underwing caterpillars last night on my slug hunt and I'm curious as to what they eat. They happened to be on two plants that have been extensively munched on, my Kent pride iris and my apple crisp heuchera. I have caught slugs in the act on both of those plants so they could be the sole culprits and the caterpillars just innocent bystanders. I did a quick Google search last night and couldn't find anything to suggest they'd be contributing to the destruction, all accounts suggest they prefer things like nettles which is handy as happen to have a whole bunch of those out the front. As per a previous post, I also found some eggs on one of my heucherellas and they could possibly belong to a lesser yellow underwing. If there's any chance that when they hatch they'll start on my plants, I'd rather remove the leaf and relocate it to the nettles out front. So, could they be the munchers or are they perfectly harmless to my plants?  


  • According to my book, the larvae of Lesser Yellow Underwings feed on "blackthorn, hawthorn, sallow, heather, dock, foxglove and many other trees, shrubs and plants."
  • februarysgirlfebruarysgirl Posts: 816
    Yeah, sounds like I need to transport that leaf elsewhere. My hawthorn tree would be useless as the leaf would never stay up there. There is some hawthorn hedging two minutes walk away, which would probably be a lot more secure. Alternatively I could take it to the spinney at the end of the road which has lots of native plants. Only down side is the types who frequent it. I have heard people heading down there despite lockdown 😕
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