Friend or foe?

Ami ou ennemi? Freund oder Feind? ¿Amigo o enemigo? Cara nó namhaid?

The kaka beak (Clianths puniceus) flowered even more impressively this year, to the point where I wasn’t so much wow-ing the display, rather thinking that this was what had been expected all along. Impressive nonetheless. As usual, after the flowers came the signs of chewed leaves, only this time the culprits were to be seen…

I haven’t been able to identify them yet, but I think they’re moth larvae, maybe the peppered moth. With some species I turn to biological control, if they happen to be a non-native species, but with these something told me that they might actually be useful.

I’ve planted a couple of seedlings of New Guinea bean – Lagenaria siceraria – and have previously noticed the flowers open at night. Pollinated by moths? The larvae have since disappeared, and as they were so well camouflaged, I’m hoping that it was because they moved on to their next stage of development.

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