Knotgrass

It was the village show on Saturday so Friday night found the children in very competitive spirit, baking jam tarts, making models and a display of grasses. A’s jam tarts were winners, as were B’s marigolds. Neither won for there ‘Plate of wild fruit and berries – to be named.’ We had a short walk in the nearby fields to collect said fruit and berries. I thought we did quite well with rowan berries, elderberries, haws, rosehips, sloes and blackberries (although in Ben’s case it was blackberry singular because he couldn’t resist eating the rest). We overlooked yew and cuckoo pint berries with them being poisonous. Whilst I was collecting haws from a hedge B found this hairy monster on a Dock leaf. I’m pretty confident that it’s a Knotgrass caterpillar.

The alternating white and brick-coloured triangular patches below the spiracles distinguish this from all other caterpillars. There is also a line of white blotches above the spiracles, and a line of red spots along the back. FP: docks and many other low growing herbs and shrubs, May to October.

I hope that the ‘low growing herbs and shrubs’ includes some of things growing in our garden since B was not going to be deterred in his ambition to bring the caterpillar home to show to his mum. It’s much smaller than the Elephant hawk Moth caterpillar we saw recently but pretty striking none the less.

 

Earlier in the week I was out for another short walk, a post-work trip to the Cove and the Lots.

As you can probably tell the light was low, but I never tire of this view. As I left the Lot the lights were coming on in Grange and beyond.

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Knotgrass

4 thoughts on “Knotgrass

  1. Interesting caterpillar- don’t believe I have seen that one. When you say “knotgrass”- which one do you mean? Interested in knowing the host plant, and if you have problems with Japanese Knotweed, Polygonum cuspidatum in your area?

    Weedpicker Cheryl

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    To be honest, I didn’t know that there was more than one knotgrass. All I do know is that the moth, and therefore the caterpillar is called a knotgrass – why I don’t know.
    My field guide says that the caterpillar feeds on docks (which is what we found this one on) and other low-growing shrubs and that the moth feeds on various woody and herbaceous plants.
    I’m not aware that there is a problem with Japanese Knotweed in this area.
    Incidentally – the link back to your blog doesn’t work because you have a comma where there should be a full-stop. Hope that helps.
    Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  3. I’ve not seen one of these for years… didn’t even realise what the name was…. we have a big problem around here with the ‘Knotweed’ mentioned….

    Tom

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