What do you think of this?
We wondered at first if it might be silworms at work, but it’s a group of social caterpillars, probably Pine Processionaries, that have made this amazing silk tent between them. It’s an impressive structure, roughly the size of my hand. Some types of caterpillars like to live in groups for protection or thermoregulation reasons mainly. The tent forms the centre of their foraging area and they return to it when they’ve finished eating for the day. They’re certainly slowly but surely stripping the surrounding vegetation bare, but since they’re on common willow saplings that are growing where we don’t want them, then that’s not a problem.
This particular tree is a very attractive habitat. Just below the caterpillar tent, a solitary wasp has built a small nest. Can you make it out in this photo?
Hmm, possibly not. Let’s try again.
Another cool creepy crawlie was this worm from the other night. For reasons best know to itself, it had decided to crawl up our kitchen door. He’s the wiggle right at the top.
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