Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Beautiful Pest: The Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Today, Mrs. P noticed a pest eating the living daylights out of my brand. new. flowers. that hang on my front porch.  I had noticed odd little droppings under my new hanging plant, but thought it was some special fertilizer that was falling (anyone can tell you that I'm no gardening specialist).  Well, I was right that it was fertilizer, but wrong to the sort that it was; it was the evidence that my friend, Mrs. P, noticed to realize there was something amiss.  This beautiful, and fat, caterpillar was taking up residence in my pot and ate about half of it in just a few days.  Talk about The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle coming to life!:

Behold our beautiful new pest - the Oleander Hawk Moth Caterpillar

It almost looks like a happy little puppy playing with a chew toy.  Only, the chew toy happens to be my flowers!

Yes, he really was that fat!

These fake "eyes" scare off predators who are wanting a tasty caterpillar meal.  It makes him look like an alien, don't ya think?

The unaffected plant that mirrors my other hanging basket.  Note how it looks full and healthy.
The basket where we discovered the culprit.  Argh.  I have only had this one for five days.  Seems like it will pull through, though!

After I got over my irritation over how much of my plants he had eaten, we got to observe him and thank God for just how beautiful he is.  I told Jeshurun to let him go in one of my Jasmine bushes (where he would do less obvious damage), but he insisted on keeping him to show to the S-clan when we head over there later tonight.  Why not? 


As long as he doesn't actually try to eat him, we might just keep him around to see if turns into a beautiful Hawk Moth.  Here's a link to see what would be his final transformation: Click here.

Finding this caterpillar has made my son a happy boy.  He won't stop talking about it.  Good thing Thailand will never run out of bugs!

Run and his newest bug pet.  Smiles all around.


  1. This is an AMAZING find! We all awed at its beauty! And I moaned with you about your flowers. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks, Jenni! We were stunned when we saw how gorgeous it was. But, on a sad note, four more of his brothers and sisters have appeared on our plant since...they just keep eating and eating and eating...


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