The girls playing out on the cul de sac on a September evening were huddled together, excited. One of them had found this enormous caterpillar crossing the road – around two inches long. it was the biggest caterpillar any of us had ever seen, even the parents.
What on earth was it? It took some time to identify as the caterpillar of the Elephant Hawkmoth, which received its name courtesy of the characteristics of its caterpillar phase. The fake eyes are said to frighten predators off.
This picture from Wikimedia Commons shows what the adult looks like.
Photo of adult elephant hawkmoth by Gail Hampshire, via Wikimedia Commons
2 thoughts on “Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar”
Barry, have you seen the app called iNaturalist? I’m not a big app person, but our son introduced us to it. You take a picture of any living flora or fauna and iNaturalist will identify it immediately. It builds on its database, including location of identifications, and the database is used by ecological researchers. You’d love it.
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Thanks Jane. As it happens, daughter recently introduced me to this app!