Looking more closely, we found that they had been attacked by very small caterpillars.We identified these as being the many-plumed moth, Alucita hexadactyla. The eggs are laid on the flower buds and the caterpillars live inside the flowers and feed on them.
On 11th June I discovered one descending to the ground by means of a thread.
We never saw the adults moths until today, when I discovered one drowned in one of Fred's pondwater samples.
A close-up picture shows the structure of the wings, which look like feathers
15th July 2009
This morning I found a pair of these plume moths mating in our garden.