Towards the end of June last year we had a minor wildlife invasion at work - dozens of these rather lovely magpie moths emerged from their cocoons on the wall outside the back door and fluttered clumsily in and out of the office for a couple of days.
This week I noticed several strikingly marked caterpillars inching their way up the same stretch of wall. A quick Google check confirmed that they are indeed magpie moth caterpillars, presumably returning to a tried and tested spot to begin their metamorphosis. I'm curious as to why they choose this rather exposed location, which leaves them at the mercy of the local birds, but perhaps they don't taste very nice and can therefore roam with impunity. It's probably easier to get the cocoon to adhere to the rough texture of the masonry too.
I wonder what will happen when the building is demolished and the magpie moth ancestral home is no longer there? I hope the moths will have flown before the bulldozers move in.