From ugly caterpillar to silky beauty
The Small emperor moth , Saturnia pavonia , our only silk moth in the UK. Taking part in a small breeding program, it was very interesting to follow through the whole circle from moth to caterpillar to moth again. After hatching the female attracts males by releasing pheromones. She will start laying eggs and die shortly after. When the caterpillars hatch, they are tiny, black, rather unattractive. But in a matter of weeks they grow and transform into those big , beautiful green caterpillars, which will eventually spin themselves a cocoon to overwinter as pupae before emerging as adult moth in springtime again.