Lesser Yellow Underwing

Noctua comes – This moth caterpillar almost turned a darker shade of  oak on Saturday when I was staining my back fence. Thankfully I spotted it in time and relocated it near a similar foodplant opposite, stopping to take a few snaps of it. The image below shows it rolled up in defensive mode, making it look less like a caterpillar to a prying bird. The head is in the centre with its suckered, almost toothed feet (prolegs) and front legs (true legs) like fingernails wrapped around it. Double click for a better look.

Lesser Yellow Underwing Noctua comes caterpillar

Lesser Yellow Underwing Noctua comes

It may have just come out of winter hibernation (or I inadvertently woke it up). It is not a fussy eater and will feed on a range of bushes, trees and herbaceous plants. It tends to feed at night, then hides from predation during the day. It will eventually pupate underground before becoming the adult.


Rear garden, Staffordshire,May 2018. © Peter Hillman

9 thoughts on “Lesser Yellow Underwing

  1. Thank you for the caterpillar photo, I have been searching for hours! I have a small garden but with lots of honeysuckle, clematis, jasmine, passion flower and fuchsias, so have red and orange under wings, elephant hawk moths, convolvulous hawk moth, puss moths and many others. The legs were what I was trying to find, fat rear ones that stick out sideways, long fore legs with a strangely tapered head, but yours is the only photo I’ve found which perfectly matched! Great photos, thank you. June, Milton Keynes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi June. Thank you for your lovely comment. I am pleased this has been some help to you! Looks like you have a lot of wonderful moth visitors there! I only have a small garden too, and have many amazing moth visitors. Best wishes, Pete

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