Knot Grass Moth Caterpillar
Scientific Name: Acronicta rumicis
This is the caterpillar of the Knot grass moth which is widely distributed on the British isles, but is less frequent in Scotland. The adults, like other moths in the genus Acronicta are not as colourful as their larvae - mottled shades of grey and black with a curved white mark near to the rear edge of the forewing. They fly between July and August, but in southern regions they can have a second brood which emerge in August and September - their wingspan is about 40mm.
The caterpillars are covered in bristly hairs and could be mistaken for a Brown Tail moth caterpillar (Euproctis chrysorrhoea). The latter has hairs which are very irritant and can cause temporary blindness if they get into the eyes.
They feed on herbaceous plants such as Docks, Plantain and Bramble. They mature into a pupa and remain in this state over the winter.
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