Emperor Moth Caterpillar
Keith Ball (September)
We spotted this Emperor Moth Caterpillar (Saturnia pavonia) whilst out on a rainy day during a Mountain Leader refresher course.
During its larval stage it lives on moors and heaths where it can access its main food which is Ling, or common Heather. The caterpillar is black and orange at first, later becoming green with black rings and yellow or red spots.
It is found commonly in August, so this one was probably looking forward to overwintering in its cocoon.
The moth itself is one of our largest and most impressive insects.