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It will be a few months yet before I will be seeing any of these hairy beauties but they are worth the wait. These photos show the larva of the Drinker moth (Philudoria potatoria), which can usually be found feeding on grasses and reeds, particularly in damp places. The UK moths website reports that ‘This species gets its English (and Latin) name from the habits of the caterpillar, which is supposed to have a liking for drops of dew.’

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In theory, these caterpillars can be found now, as they hibernate when only partly grown, emerging in the spring to continue their development, but I imagine they are currently well hidden from hungry birds. My photos were taken last May, when these caterpillars were almost fully grown and would soon be pupating. I’ve never seen the adult moth but it is also a beautiful creature.

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