Does anyone know what species this caterpillar is? Found near our house in Lewes. 

It measures 100mm long by 10mm across

Views: 147

Tags: Butterfly, Caterpillars, Life, Moths, Sussex, Trust, Wild, Wildlife

Comment by Neil Hulme on July 30, 2014 at 20:16

Hi Victor,

That's the caterpillar of the Elephant Hawkmoth. It feeds on plants including Rosebay Willowherb in the wild, or Fuchsia in gardens. Once full-grown (as yours is) it will wander off to pupate underground. The adult moth is of a a spectacular, streamlined Art Deco appearance and is a beautiful mix of olive green and pink.

Best Wishes, Neil

Comment by Victor S Ient on July 31, 2014 at 7:38

Hi Neil,

Many thanks! 

Comment by Michael Pierce on August 1, 2014 at 20:36

Comment by Victor S Ient on August 5, 2014 at 16:57

Thank you Michael - so this is an Elephant Hawkmoth? 

Comment by Michael Pierce on August 7, 2014 at 23:17

Yes Victor.

The photo was taken in June 2009 on a window ledge in High Salvington. It was the first time I had obtained a close up view of an elephant hawk moth since 1940’s when a chrysalis that my father had stored through the winter hatched out. 

Comment by Neil Hulme on August 8, 2014 at 12:47

Hi Victor and Michael,

The Elephant Hawkmoth is really just a Middle Weight. Holder of the British Heavy Weight title (apart from the migrant, bird-sized Convolvulus Hawkmoth) is the Privet Hawkmoth. I recently found its caterpillar on the slopes of Mill Hill at Shoreham.

BWs, Neil

Comment by Victor S Ient on August 11, 2014 at 18:32

Wow! Well done Neil, 

Vic

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