Garden Tiger Moth (showing the hindwing pattern)
Peter Martin writes:
“Writing the recent article about hairy caterpillars of the Oak Processionary Moth reminded me of the brown hairy caterpillars of the Garden Tiger Moth that I was always coming across during my youth.
The hairs from these creatures are loaded with histamines and can cause nasty irritations if handled. If more than one is kept together in captivity, they can be cannibalistic (don’t ask me how one can chew the other one without getting a mouthful of those nasty hairs).
I haven’t seen any of these hairy monsters (often called “woolly bears”) for many years and there is now real concern that they could become extinct.
Caterpillar of the Garden Tiger Moth
“Butterfly Conservation” has a moth-night each year and this year it is making a particular request for anyone spotting a Garden Tiger Moth during the period from the 8th to the 10th August to report it.
More information on National Moth Night can be found here.
I am sure that, if you spot any of these caterpillars at any time and are sure that they are not one of the other hairy moth creatures, “Butterfly Conservation” would like to hear from you.”
Photos credits: here.