Acronicta psi (Grey Dagger)

Acronicta psi (Grey Dagger) Acronicta psi (Grey Dagger)
Date: 2012 September 2

I found this very distinctive caterpillar on my hat after I'd been working in the garden. The colours, and the spike behind its head (superimposed on the twig in the photo) meant it was quite easy to identify. I'm not sure what it had been eating, but apparently it can eat quite a number of different things. I tried it on rose, hawthorn, and cherry (all of which were possibilities), but it didn't seem interested (but then perhaps it didn't want to eat, or didn't like being disturbed). With hindsight, perhaps it had been on the apple tree. I forget which tree I eventually left it on.

In 2013, I planted a sweet cherry tree in the garden, and during August, I found several of these caterpillars on it - still very small though, and nowhere near the size of the one seen in 2012. So perhaps it was the cherry trees in next door's garden that last year's caterpillar had been on.

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Author: Clarke Brunt (
Last modified: 2nd September 2013