A Dot Moth caterpillar at rest on a leaf.
Caterpillars of this species are found during August to October and feed mostly at
night on dock, nettle, plantain, elder and willow. They pupate under ground during
the autumn and the adult emerges the following summer. The female will lay her eggs
singly or in groups on the food plant where they will hatch after about a week. The
Dot Moth is found widely across southern Britain but is more sparsely distributed in the
north. They are found in gardens, hedges, roadsides and patches of waste ground.
A Centipede in the hand! There are
44 species of centipede in Britain. Although the name centipede suggests 100 legs,
adult centipedes in Britain have a total of 30. They are born with 14 legs but each
time the exoskeleton is shed as the centipede grows, extra legs appear.
Centipedes are fast moving nocturnal carnivores. They will catch and eat slugs,
spiders, worms, insects and even other centipedes. They use pincer like claspers to
grab their prey and then inject a lethal poison which paralyses it.
Centipedes will try to escape from bright light,
running quickly over your hand. Unlike most insects, centipedes lack a
protective waxy coat over their exoskeleton. This means that they can quickly dry
out if exposed to extreme warmth or bright sunlight. When disturbed on the
woodland floor they tend to scurry away to find a dark moist crevice under the ground or
in the leaf litter. Their hunting activities take place at night when sunlight is
not a problem. They have poor vision but use their sensitive antennae to feel
vibrations made by their prey.