Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

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Peggy Sue
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Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

Post: # 167266Post Peggy Sue
Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:18 pm

My dear little dog has just picked up a HUGE grub, I've NEVER seen anything close to that size before and am wondering what on earth it could be.

I didn't manage to get the camera out as she tossed it around the garden I'm afraid but it was green grub in every scary detail but 5" long and about and inch diameter- if it's a cabbage white it will have the wingspan of an albatross!!!

My garden is all established shrubs or grown from seed, nothing from a garden centre, with the exception of the growbag (which it was near). I bought the growbag under duress as the OH insists my compost has too much horse manure, so half the toms are in a growbag and half in my compost- I digress...

When my dog eventually pearced the skin of the beast (takes a while she's a Staffie so small teeth!) the stuff it oozed made her shake her head in disgust and foam at the mouth, bit like when she caught a toad in the woods a while back.

We have an allotment so I could bring things home on the veg, but again it's all from seed and I raraely go on other peoples plots.

What could it be, it really does remind me of something from Dr Who :shock:
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Re: Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

Post: # 167269Post Green Aura
Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:23 pm

Have you got willow trees?

A neighbour showed me something similar - although not so big. He didn't know what it was called but said they'd watched 3-4 of them systematically stripping a small willow tree of its leaves over only a few days, then sloping of into the long grass to pupate.

Isn't nature wonderful - if they get any bigger we'll be able to have them for sunday lunch! :lol:
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StripyPixieSocks
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Re: Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

Post: # 167270Post StripyPixieSocks
Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:34 pm

Does it look anything like these?

http://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/searc ... b&fr=moz35

The Hawk Moth family are absolutely enormous... we had one recently in our house, thought it was a bat at first: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stripypixi ... 820657910/

The one is a hybrid but there are several species.

Peggy Sue
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Re: Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

Post: # 167275Post Peggy Sue
Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:11 pm

StripyPixieSocks wrote:Does it look anything like these?

http://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/searc ... b&fr=moz35

The Hawk Moth family are absolutely enormous... we had one recently in our house, thought it was a bat at first: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stripypixi ... 820657910/

The one is a hybrid but there are several species.
Yes! Spot on page 2 dath head s hawk moth caterpillar- wow this site is amazing!!

So are they native? And are they good news or bad?
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Re: Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

Post: # 167289Post StripyPixieSocks
Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:02 pm

They're not really native but are increasing in number especially in the South of the UK.

Depends on your viewpoint if they're good news or not, personally for me the more the merrier as I love Butterflies and Moths but... each to their own ;)

http://ukmoths.org.uk/show.php?id=1097 < Info on the Moth for you :)

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Re: Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

Post: # 167300Post Brij
Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:17 pm

Ha! I'm a night-time reader, and when I was in Southampton, I found a hawk moth in my room. It was a big blighter, too, with ruddy stripes across its body.

Then an elephant hawk moth tried to eat me this summer when I was in Cambridgeshire. The cat was delighted, but I was not pleased when the resident hippie released the stunned critter (I got it under a glass with the cat's help, but was too petrified to let it go again, so I left it in the kitchen with a note for the various children and said hippie to examine...) right outside my bedroom window.

But still, glad I'm not going mad!
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Millymollymandy
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Re: Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

Post: # 167331Post Millymollymandy
Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:11 am

Wow I wish I could find caterpillars like that (but not necessarily munching my veg!). That's a stunner. I've only seen the hummingbird hawkmoths as they are out and about during the day. That death's head one reminds me of Silence of the Lambs! :pale:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

Peggy Sue
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Re: Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

Post: # 167343Post Peggy Sue
Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:48 am

Well the dog survived the mouth foaming so thats a plus, but I've been dreading all night someone would post it was a rare native species and highly protected very important to the ecology etc and my dog ate it (well bits of it)

Not sure I could sleep at night with a monster that size roaming the garden knowing it would soon be able to fly though!
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Gem
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Re: Mutant Caterpillar in my Garden!

Post: # 169231Post Gem
Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:03 pm

Awesome, I found a deaths head caterpillar recently and brought it home to show off (with the intention of immediate release) and it pupated before I got home. (It was massive when I found it!).

I now have it in a tub and will let it go when it hatches out. Cant wait to see its wingspan!!

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