Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Now THAT's a BIG caterpillar!

We were in the front yard a few days ago, and I leaned over the lemon verbena for a closer look. Something black had caught me eye. Part of a leaf? NOOOO! Eek! It was a big fat chubby hornworm! (The thing startled me at first, I confess.) I laughed and called for James to come see. We found a second one, too, munching away on the leaves.

Actually, I believe they're rustic sphinxes (Manduca rustica). I checked on them another day or two. Then they disappeared. That's because this species burrows underground to pupate.


sandy lawrence said...

Sheryl, I generally startle too when I see these guys at first. Speaking of fat, what are the totally fuzzy black cats we're seeing now? I don't recall seeing cats this late in the year ... Are you seeing any of these?
I'm afraid my TX mountain laurel won't bloom, come spring. Those blasted webworm critters ate all the bud stalks along with the new growth, despite my removing and squashing them by hand every day.

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Salt marsh caterpillars, I suspect. And yes, we've seen quite a few. And I bet your mountain laurel will rebound. They're resilient!

sandy lawrence said...

I Googled an image of the salt marsh moth, and it is quite beautiful. I do hope your encouraging comment re the mtn. laurel proves true! Thanks.

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Keep me posted!

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