Whenever I search the Internet for an invertebrate, unless it’s rare, there’s always a result which is “How do I get rid of…” That’s depressing, since there’s a huge array of killing chemicals and devices available to eradicate the natural world.
The Mullein Moth, Cucullia verbasci, is one of those which other people wish to kill. Not me, I’m a big fan of garden pests.
It’s a caterpillar which reacts to threat by the classic behaviour of “freezes and may vomit”. Charming.
It’s growing on Verbascum, which has large, pale, hairy rosettes of leaves and so is easy to see in il Pratone di Torre Spaccata. We can wander round looking for leaves with holes and search them for more caterpillars. Some are tiny.
This one has a lot of eating and growing to do before it can pupate and emerge into a beautiful noctuid moth. No chemicals or killing devices are needed.