A friend asked me to post one of their insect images on here – and as the insect in question is this striking caterpillar, how could I refuse? Its markings and tufts look haphazard, and make it seem equally beautiful and sinister. I believe it’s probably the caterpillar of a Vapourer moth, otherwise known as the Rusty Tussock moth (Orgyia antiqua). Found between May and September in the UK, these caterpillars especially like to feed on deciduous trees and shrubs. Despite its scary-looking tufts and tubercules, I don’t think this is one of the poisonous Tussock moth species. I wouldn’t try to find out, though! Does anyone know whether it’s poisonous, or if its hairs are an irritant?