It’s amazing what you can find during periods of lockdown, especially in your own back garden. Rummaging round in my back garden I found a Mullein moth pupa munching away on the leaf of one of my garden plants.
I must admit that I say ‘My Garden’ advisedly because I am definitely not a gardener. The garden is the domain of my partner. However, during this lockdown I have looked at the plants and this is what I saw.
A black, yellow and white 4cm long wriggly thing devouring one of the leaves on one of the plants. So off I shot and collected one of my video cameras and a tripod to get some film of it. The result can be seen above.
I didn’t have a clue what the species was so it was now down to searching through my books. I thought it must be a very rare breed as I hadn’t, seen anything like it before. It didn’t take long to discover it was a Mullein moth (Cucullia verbasci) pupa, called a pupa because only butterflies have caterpillars. Moths have pupae, although they look like caterpillars and so that is what we call them.
It is found mainly in the southern half of England but occasionally can be seen elsewhere as well. One of the passages I read about this winged insect is that it is quite rare in Leicestershire and Rutland, Not too sure about that now.
What I do know is that it seems to be quite a pest to the gardeners, especially at the rate it eats the vegetation.As they appear in the late spring-early summer they could decimate the garden plants. They don’t seem to just make a few holes in the leaves, they actually eat the whole leaves. Certainly can’t be good for the plants.