The insect of the month has to be the November Moth, Epirrita dilutata. This moth is widespread in the UK and, although it gets its common name from its appearance in November, you can spot adults flying throughout the autumn in woods, hedgerows, parks and gardens.
The wingspan is 38-44mm with a dark wavy pattern against a lighter background. It’s easy to easy to mix this moth up with two similar species, the pale November moth E. christyi and the Autumnal Moth E. autumnata, both of which look similar. To make things even more confusing, all three species also have darker forms!
The caterpillar can be found in the spring and summer months feeding on a range of deciduous trees and shrubs. It is one of the ‘inch worms’ or ‘loopers’ that move by stretching out, then bringing their rear end forward to meet the front, forming a loop. They the stretch their front end out again and repeat the process. They are about an inch (2.5cm) long so it looks as if they are measuring as they move along.
Crunchy on the outside is a new blog for and by young entomologists.
Interested in insects? Perhaps you saw something we posted online, came to the museum, or maybe we visited you at school for an Insect Discovery Day. However you heard of us, if you’re interested in insects this is the place for you!
We’ll be sharing news about insects and the natural world, people who work insects and help to protect them, what goes on at the museum, and new things for you to make and do. Look out for:
- A peek behind the scenes at the museum
- Insect related things to make and do
- Info about people who work with insects, both past and present
- Cool facts and stories about the amazing insects we can find in this country
- A chance to have your say regarding what is in this blog and the museum
- First dibs on related events
Crunchy on the outside is your opportunity to tell us what you would like from the museum, share your ideas and to get involved. We’d love to hear your ideas so please get in touch using the CONTACT US page if there is something you’d like to see.
Crunchy on the outside is part of the HOPE for the Future project at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.