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Looking for caterpillars!

Can anyone suggest plants that might host caterpillars, please? The problem is I need the caterpillars now ... or over the weekend. I am planning to teach the lifecycle of the butterfly in my class next week and have not been able to obtain live caterpillars from my usual supplier so am looking around the garden - so far without luck. Is it too early for them?


  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,030
    Find a good patch of nettles and something should be munching on those by now, hopefully peacock butterfly caterpillars. Find out which butterfly species lay eggs that overwinter (I think there's 9 or 10 species that do in the UK) and then that should give you a clue as to what will be hatching now in the spring and on what plants.
    As a last resort you could buy wax moth larvae from reptile food suppliers (Pets at Home usually have some) or change it up a bit and buy some jumbo mealworms instead and grow them into beetles. The process is the same although admittedly with a less crowd pleasing result.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • ShepherdsBarnShepherdsBarn Posts: 401
    Thank you so much for your help and advice. I have spent the weekend looking for eggs or larvae in the nettles (we have lots) but without luck. I finally managed to find this one ... yes, just one - it was on a horse chestnut leaf. I think it is a caterpillar from the silver moth, but am no expert and only comparing it to internet images.

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