|Stinging nettles give us an insight into both the capacity for nature to flourish even in some of the hardest urban conditions, and how plants are essential in providing us with some of the neccessities of life.|
Not only do they provide excellent food for some butterflies and moths, but we can make tea from their leaves, use them as dyes, and once stung we will never forget their power to protect - as good a piece of environmental education as any.
Urban Advisor, English Nature
Beautiful Golden Y - Autographa pulchrina
© Roy Leverton
|The crytic markings and tufts of hair break up the outline of the Beautiful Golden Y giving effective camouflage.|
The caterpillars of the Beautiful Golden Y hatch in August and will feed on Dead Nettle (Lamium spp.) and a range of other plants as well as the Stinging Nettle. The larva hibernates when still quite small and starts feeding again in the following spring. The caterpillar is green with a broad white stripe along the back and a pale yellow stripe down each flank.
After completing its growth in the spring the larva pupates in a large loose silken cocoon among the leaves of the host plant to emerge in June. The adult mainly flies at dusk and can be seen vistiing a wide range of woodland and garden flowers.
Back to moths of the nettle patch
|Did you know?|
|Roman soldiers posted in Britain were reputed to have brushed their limbs with nettles so the stings would warm them in the cold climate!|