Luminous larva

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday 19 October 2010 18:49

Neil Fletcher and I went into Hoe Wood today to photograph Common Tamarisk-moss Thuidium tamariscinum for a bryophytes course planned for next year. Neil got the shots but on the way out, I spotted this crazy caterpillar walking up some Isothecium moss on the base of an oak tree. It's the larva of the Pale Tussock moth and I am really pleased how this shot came out. I love the nearest row of 'exploding' yellow hairs, like a fire works display. The narrow jet of long red hairs above the vent is also impressive, as are the velvety-black pits between the segments, they seem to reflect no light what-so-ever.

I heard a Water Rail in the reedbed at Woods Mill today too, it squealed once very close to the path and then remained silent.

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