the food of moth larvae

sallow and willow / apple trees / poplar / potato leaves / Duke of Argyll’s tea rose / honeysuckle, sweet tobacco plants and petunias / privet, lilac and ash / pine needles / bedstraw / grapevine, fuchsias, dock and antirrhinum / greater willow-herb or fireweed / flowers of bugle / flowers of valerian / birch and
alder / beech, oak and other trees / aspen, black poplar / hazel / maple / lime
/ bramble and low-growing bushes / raspberry canes / broom or heather /
elm and also cultivated fruit trees and hops / garden roses / hawthorn, blackthorn and sea-buckthorn / various conifers / plum / viburnum, dogwood, ivy and ling / grasses, kidney-vetch / bilberry / the crisp leaves of reeds / the small-leaved lime / osier / practically any low-growing plant / water-dock,
water-mint, yellow loosestrife and a few other marsh plants / elder /
dandelion leaves / plantains / common rock-rose and salad burnet / nettle / white dead-nettle / groundsel / comfrey / sheep’s fescue grass / forget-me-
not and borage / ragwort / lichens / firs / the roots of grass / decaying wood / sycamore trees



  • Common habitats: loneliness, insecurity, back pain
  • The central band has a fairly smooth inner margin
  • A small rivulet resembles the rivulet but is smaller
  • Accurate identification usually involves microscopic examination
  • Most easily distinguished by looking at the underside
  • 1 sharp tooth
  • Many specimens lack, some are browner
  • The dark tips reflect blue
  • Strongly constricted and usually broken
  • Chequered veins with a conspicuous curved black streak


  • Common habitats: existential despair, PTSD, the internet
  • A faint zigzag line just inside the outer margin
  • Has a prominent bump near the rear end
  • A metallic range from yellowish-green to almost blue
  • The basal area often has a rusty tinge
  • 2 points with a slight concavity between them
  • There is a purplish or red stripe on each side
  • A distinct silver sheen but larger
  • Gently undulating outer edge
  • The pale, bluish-green soon fades to white


  • Common habitats: euphoria, the way birds fly together sometimes, sunlight, lust
  • The colour of fresh is very distinctive
  • Is paler and never has 3 spots in an arc
  • Usually oblique yellowish patches
  • It is very shiny and tinged with gold
  • The spots are also quite variable
  • There is always an orange border
  • Ranges through coppery red and violet to almost black
  • Lacks the white banding
  • The spiky larvae camouflage themselves with their own excrement

Anna Cathenka is studying on the MA Poetry at UEA. Her writing has recently appeared in Eyeflash, Riggwelter, Stride Magazine and Partisan Hotel. Her first pamphlet, Dead Man Walking, is due to be published this year with New Fire Tree Press. Anna is honoured to be the recipient of the 2017/18 Ink, Sweat and Tears Scholarship.