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Caterpillar ID

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    Posted: 15 Aug 2005 at 11:23am

Anyone know what this is? It has to be a hawk moth from the size, my guess is an elephant hawk moth, but I would like to know for sure. Ta.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Danial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2005 at 11:37am
Yes Gemma that is definately an Elephant hawk moth caterpillar. And what a great markings it has too. Do you have Willowherb in your garden for it to feed on?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2005 at 12:01pm
Hi Danial, you answered my next question, because I wasn't sure where it had come from. I found it on the ground crossing our garden path, I guess it was on its way to pupate. (I just popped in on a potato plant for the piccy before putting it back were I found it). I'll have to try and find out where the Willowherb is and see if there are more. Thanks for confirming the ID
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2005 at 12:12pm
Well I've just been out for a look, we have three Willowherbs in our flower border, but no sign of any more caterpillars, is it usual for them to be in low numbers?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2005 at 12:58pm
Hi Gemma,
They also like fuschia if you have any
O-> O+>
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2005 at 3:18pm

Gemma

With regards to numbers of these Hawk Moths, in my garden seeing one a year is about the norm and I haven't seen one for a few years. For a creature so big it's amazing how hard they are to see. I did notice a completely stripped willow herb in the garden just the other day so I am keeping my eyes open for the culprit!

Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2005 at 5:51pm

Hi Gemma

Funnily enough I always do an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar survey in my garden at this time of year. The "wilderness area" has 30 or 40 Willowherb on which I found five caterpillars - usually I only find two or three. Funnily enough I found another one on a secret Willowherb that had snuck into the (allegedly) domesticated part of the garden!

Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2005 at 5:56am
Thanks guys, I'll ensure we have a good crop of Willowherb for next  year. It might be nice to make some suggestions for 'alternative' flower borders, our main stay has been mallow, corn flowers and poppies for the bees, I'll now ensure we have Willowherb too (does anyone know if it is an annual or perennial by the way). We have a third of the garden as undisturbed grassland, but I always try to ensure the flowers I put into the more managed areas of the garden have some value to wildlife and keep the fushias etc in planters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Danial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2005 at 7:38am
Glad I could be of help with id and food plants. According to Francis Rose's Wild Flower Key, Willowherb sp are perennials.
I also had no idea that the caterpillars fed on Fuschia. Your garden sounds wonderful. Any chance of some pics?

Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2005 at 12:25pm

Perennials, but I'm presuming you mean the Rosebay or Great Willowherb. See - http://www.brickfieldspark.org/data/greatwillowherb.htm

 

Britains smallest Country Park ? - Brickfields Country Park
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