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.


Unknown 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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