Sunday, April 9, 2017

Surprise in the gaura

So I'm strolling along, taking phtos of the spittlebug nymphs, when all the sudden I spot a HUGE CATERPILLAR chomping away on our white butterfly gaura! Then James spots another one, then another one! There must have been at least five big babies! Upon closer examination, I announced that "there are white-lined sphinx caterpillars!" Remember all the sphinx moths we had in our gardens a couple of weeks ago? They left their calling cards! Cool, eh?
White-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata) feed on a variety of host plants, including those in the Onagraceae (evening-primrose) family. Yep, gaura is classified in the family. When they're done eating our gaura, these caterpillars will pupate in shallow burrows in the ground.

2 comments:

Cathy Knoll said...

Cool looking patterns along their sides. Is the orange spike at their head or their tail? (this comment/question is from Cathy Knoll)

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

I believe the orange spike marks their rear end. :-)

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