Saturday, December 26, 2015

It's a jungle out there...




 Freak out! I was sitting on my porch with a cup of coffee earlier today, gazing across the garden - and noticed something strange about one of the plants near the porch door. It kind of looked like a leaf on this samosa euphorbia was rolled inwards. Upon inspection - the biggest, fattest, and most unusual caterpillar I've had in this garden!




This fella, apparently intent on eating the whole thing, is the larvae of  erinnyis ello – the Ello Sphinx Moth.

Fully mature, he has a wing span of 2 15/16 to 3 5/16 inches. I've seen only one sphinx moth in this garden, years ago and at night. I'm really careful not to put caterpillar host plants in my garden - they're just too destructive. Nothing I have is a particular lure for this moth. However - this is Florida, he has lots to eat elsewhere in the neighborhood, and he found his way here. I inspected all my plants and found no siblings...and I'm thinking of pulling up my neighbor's poinsettia plants one dark night. This moth loves them.



The black spot on his back is a fake eye that he flashes to intimidate predators such as myself.  With the eye and the markings on his head and back, he tries to look like a small cobra!

That's my hand behind him. Big big bug.




So, back in the safety of the house, I've been working on a new knitting project - I'm making socks! The caterpillar might not intimidate me, but double point knitting needles sure do.  But so many people make such beautiful and funky socks. I need some.

A little research on Ravelry, and  I found 'Marie's Basic Sock Pattern' - perfect for a beginner. And check it out! It's so easy to please me...I like this awful yarn :-)




I just don't think this caterpillar has redeeming qualities, but I admit I enjoyed reading about him.

Ciao! Coco

7 comments:

  1. I can't believe how enormous he is! Life in the tropics...

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    1. You know it! Bet you get some interesting things where you live as well!

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  2. I love Sphinx moths, but the caterpillars...not. That is a BIG bug. I am fighting tobacco hornworm caterpillars on my yellow bell bush.

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  3. reminds me of our tomato horn worms. Yuk!!

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  4. Oooh. That is one nasty creepy crawly! I can't believe that you are sitting outside, but I'm guessing that you temperatures are about 35-40c higher than ours!

    Lovely to see that you are knitting - once you get the hang of the socks (my favourite things to knit), try them on circular needles - it is a lot quicker, and even faster if you knit them TAAT (two at a time). I look forward to seeing them finished!

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  5. I'm not into killing things but I think I would have sprayed him with Raid.

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  6. I would have put him (back) on the neighbour's poinsettia's. That 'eye' is creepy!

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I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco