Nettles.....ooooooo yum! by julienne1

Nettles.....ooooooo yum!

There's nothing like a large clump of juicy nettles when you're a hungry Peacock caterpillar! It's amazing to think that a black spiky creature like this will metamorphose into such a gloriously beautiful and colourful butterfly. This brood of caterpillars has hatched on a very large patch of nettles just inside our local woods. Most of the interesting "bug" photos I take have been taken here. Nettles are enormously important, especially to invertebrates. Each patch of nettles is a haven and larder for so many creatures vital as part of the food chain that maintains nature's balance. So it's because of this that naturalists plead with us to leave a few nettles in our gardens...and if we do we're contributing in a real and valuable way to conservation and the health of our planet.
They look ugly but at least you doing your part for their future. At least you have more beautiful butterflies to photograph.
June 23rd, 2019  
They look awful, but good for you to keep the chain going.
June 23rd, 2019  
bep
I agree with Lee-Ann ad Diana.
June 23rd, 2019  
I remember the year we raised and released 500 Peacocks. Never again, all those nettles and piles of frass...! But it was worth it to see the faces of those who watched them leave the breeding cage.
A lovely photo of one of nature's marvels, not at all ugly in my opinion.
j
June 23rd, 2019  
It's a great shot, and your depth of field is turning their little spots into circles of bokeh!
June 23rd, 2019  
@jesika2 i was estimating how many there were in the patch of nettles. There were 7 "broods" each of which seemed to have around 70-100 caterpillars. So I guess up to 700 in total. I dont know what sort of percentage of those stand a chance of making it to adult butterfly in the wild. I guess it's pretty low, but they've had a good start.
June 23rd, 2019  
@julienne1 My understanding is 1-2% so given that they have natural problems, the "tidying" effect of grass & weed cutting doesn't help at all. So I raise a few every year of what ever I can find. Butterflies, moths, other insects.
j
June 23rd, 2019  
oh fab!
June 23rd, 2019  
Great capture
June 23rd, 2019  
Wow - what a bunch of them! Think of all those butterflies.
June 24th, 2019  
Great shot. Sure hope they change soon.
June 24th, 2019  
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