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nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Processionary caterpillars

African Emerald Cuckoo feasts on hairy caterpillars

The Processionary Caterpillars are out in full force again this autumn, providing easy pickings for this female African Emerald Cuckoo. Continue reading “African Emerald Cuckoo feasts on hairy caterpillars”

The perfect host: Processionary caterpillars in our suburban garden: Part 2

Perfect hosts are hard to find. Processionary caterpillars only accept hospitality from a handful of host plants. One of these is the Cross-berry, which the caterpillars return to each year, in our suburban garden. In turn, the perfect host also accommodates the predatory birds and insects that are attracted to the caterpillars, including the iridescent male African Emerald Cuckoo pictured above. Continue reading “The perfect host: Processionary caterpillars in our suburban garden: Part 2”

Following the silk road: Processionary caterpillars in our suburban garden: Part 1

Each autumn, dozens of hairy caterpillars congregate on the Cross-berry trees in our garden. These caterpillars are the larvae of the moth named Reticulate Bagnet (Anaphe reticulata). They become conspicuous not only because they congregate in groups on tree trunks and even on plant pots, but they are also noticeable for following each other head to tail in long single-file trails, hence the collective name for this type of caterpillar: processionary caterpillar.

Continue reading “Following the silk road: Processionary caterpillars in our suburban garden: Part 1”

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