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Can you identify this beautiful creature?

(22 Posts)
PickleMobile Fri 08-Aug-14 14:50:56

Just found him crawling along my patio. When he tucks his head underneath he looks like a snake!

I've never seen one so big and up close before, does anyone know what type of butterfly or moth he will be?

We picked him up on some card and placed him in the undergrowth away from birds, was that the right thing to do?

MaidOfStars Fri 08-Aug-14 14:52:25

Elephant hawk moth larva.

thornrose Fri 08-Aug-14 14:52:56

I have no idea but I really want to know now too!

MaidOfStars Fri 08-Aug-14 14:53:03

And yes, they are beautiful. How big is it?

thecageisfull Fri 08-Aug-14 14:53:31

Some kind of hawk moth caterpillar

It's huge! shock

hellymelly Fri 08-Aug-14 14:55:48

Agree with maidofstars. He is gorgeous!

thornrose Fri 08-Aug-14 14:56:55

I just googled them, they are gorgeous.

hellymelly Fri 08-Aug-14 14:57:43

They eat willowherb by the way, so you could put him on that if you see any. (tall weed with pink flowers in spikes).

PickleMobile Fri 08-Aug-14 15:00:06

Thank you! He was around 1 1/2 inches long and at least a cm in circumference.

I gave him as sneaky stroke and he was so soft and velvety!

He really did look like a little stumpy snake. Had a little sting on the end of his tail too.

MaidOfStars Fri 08-Aug-14 15:03:03

This is what s/he will grow up to be

spacefrog35 Fri 08-Aug-14 15:05:07

I remember a friend of the family breeding these when I was little, he kept them in jam jars in the kitchen with leaves & fed them sugar syrup on cotton wool. Absolutely stunning smile

alabasterangel Fri 08-Aug-14 15:06:15

Must be the time of year, we had the same in our very urban back yard this week.... DC were fascinated!

PickleMobile Fri 08-Aug-14 15:06:51

Oh he's much prettier as a caterpillar! I wanted to keep him but resisted.

squoosh Fri 08-Aug-14 15:12:32

I'm frightened.

squirrelweasel Fri 08-Aug-14 15:14:23

Ooh, I found one of these in my garden last year. I had no idea what it was, but glad I now know smile

When I was a child i accidentally ran over one of these on my scooter. I was mortified but do remember that the insides were a really bright, fluorescent green. Pretty inside and out...

Marylou62 Fri 08-Aug-14 17:40:07

Reveal...that cracked me up!! sitting here with tears down my face...I once accidently cut up a slow worm with a strimmer...all the bits were wriggling by themselves....yuk...and I was crying cos I absolutely hate hurting any living thing...should have been a Jain Buddhist....

JustAShopGirl Fri 08-Aug-14 17:44:51

I just find it amazing that a wiggly caterpillar like that becomes a moth or butterfly at all...

How.. how does the metamorphosis work?

does it dissolve into a bug soup in the chrysalis and reform as a butterfly or does a stubby little leg become a long delicate thread of a leg? Is it "alive" at all points of the change?

my brain cannot compute....

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Fri 08-Aug-14 17:50:52
JumpJockey Fri 08-Aug-14 17:52:05

I found one in the garden the other, it was absolutely massive and freaked me out with how strong it was when twizzling round my finger.

JustAShopGirl Fri 08-Aug-14 18:05:10

cheers * ohwhat* , explains a lot - and I love the phrase .."an organised broth full of chunky bits." grin I may steal it..

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