Larva - Death's head Hawk Moth


Mannesty

Link Posted 19/10/2010 - 16:19
I found this beauty in my garden today. I've never seen such a large caterpillar before, other than in a butterfly farm.

It's longer than 10cms (see last image) and about as thick as an average sized man's middle finger.

K20D + D-FA 100mm 1:2.8 Macro + AF540FGZ + Lumiquest Softbox.


















Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

Gwyn

Link Posted 19/10/2010 - 16:34
That is one BIG caterpillar .
Beautifully captured.

Dumb question: What's the "tail" for?

Mannesty

Link Posted 19/10/2010 - 18:10
I really have no idea Gwyn. It's termed a 'tail horn' and I'm guessing that it has some kind of distraction function.

I think this one may be ready to pupate so it'll be looking for some soft earth in which to bury itself.

One of our cats was playing with it earlier so I moved it to a safer place. It was clicking quite loudly at the time. I've since learned that they will bite if sufficiently annoyed. The clicking noise is made by its mandibles.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

Gwyn

Link Posted 19/10/2010 - 18:29
Thanks Peter. Fascinating. I shall have to start reading up on such things I can see.

Don

Link Posted 19/10/2010 - 19:04
Ah, Clarice, I can't wait to see what emerges from the cocoon...
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

Mannesty

Link Posted 19/10/2010 - 19:38
Don wrote:
Ah, Clarice, I can't wait to see what emerges from the cocoon...

I'd bet you'd like a nice bottle of Chianti too . . .
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream
Last Edited by Mannesty on 19/10/2010 - 19:40

Don

Link Posted 19/10/2010 - 20:34
Mannesty wrote:
Don wrote:
Ah, Clarice, I can't wait to see what emerges from the cocoon...

I'd bet you'd like a nice bottle of Chianti too . . .

and some fava beans...
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.

Mike-P

Link Posted 19/10/2010 - 21:08
Mmmm, can just imagine them eating that on I'm a celebrity get me out of here
. My Flickr

Mannesty

Link Posted 19/10/2010 - 23:17
Mike-P wrote:
Mmmm, can just imagine them eating that on I'm a celebrity get me out of here

That thought had crossed my mind too.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

i-Berg

Link Posted 20/10/2010 - 06:31
Some great images of it Peter, the tail piece is a ripper!

PS - do they eat them fried or RAW?
http://www.pbase.com/iberg
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