Last week one of our visitors sent in the photo above, concerned about the rapid defoliation by these hungry caterpillars! They are not invasive species that has been making headlines, but caterpillars of the Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala), a native species known for their gregarious habit as caterpillars.

We caught up with the caterpillars later in the week and they certainly had grown and spread out! Yet they continue to eat oak leaves at an impressive rate. They will soon be preparing to pupate, tucked up underground, to emerge next year as adults in June or July.



Thanks again for spotting this! Have you noticed any interesting or unusual wildlife at Mudchute? Be sure to send any queries our way! We’re only a tweet, Facebook message or email away!

A rare pink variant of the Meadow Grasshopper.

A rare pink variant of the Meadow Grasshopper.

The warm sunshine this summer has created fantastic conditions for minibeasts of all sorts on the farm! We’ve pulled together a roundup of just a few of the man remarkable creatures that make Mudchute their home. We’ve spotted bright pink grasshoppers, beautiful blue butterflies and all manner of creatures between! The weather is set to be warm and sunny this weekend too, so be sure to keep an eye out for minibeasts on your next visit! To share them on social media, just use #mudchute!

A look at the courtship of the Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus). The chirping sound we hear across the farm is produced by amorous males who rapidly rub their hind legs against their wings. This video shows the action in approximately 10x slower than real life.