Saturday, 30 July 2011


This monster sat still all day, but then a moth that size won't be scared of much. It didn't even flinch when I moved some leaves to get a better shot. It's dark now so it's probably out scaring old ladies and tapping on small childrens' windows.

At least, that's what I like to think it's doing.

Someone else has a better shot of one here.


Mummylonglegs said...

Several years ago now the squids and I discovered a HUGE beasty in grandmas back garden.

It turned out to be a giant elephant hawk moth caterpiller. After much badgering I agreed to let the squids keep it and try and hatch it out. We did a little research and set to. After about two weeks it built it's coccoon and bedded down for the winter. The months went by and slowly we forgot about the plastic tank that was sat on the kitchen window sill. Then one morning, 5 or 6 months later, I came down stairs and there it was, in all it's hot pink glory. After a day at the squids school it was duly returned and released back into grandmas garden.

Mummy x

Macheath said...

Scary indeed! The related poplar hawk moth caterpillars are nearly as big but are also a vibrant green with red faces - and their response to danger is to rear up at you to their full height of about four inches.

Doesn't sound much, but the shock of one popping up in the road outside my house has brought more than one cyclist to the ground in a tangled heap.

richard said...

Mummylonglegs, I did exactly the same thing but mine was caught by a Spotted Flycatcher on it's maiden flight. Pah!
Leggy, yours sat still because he'd just emerged from his coccoon. He's inflating soft new wings with blood; the wings gradually harden, whereupon the blood is withdrawn into the body, and then he's ready to fly.

Leg-iron said...

Mummylonglegs, Richard - I'll keep an eye out for those caterpillars. Once they pupate, there are many interesting places where the chrysalis could be left to safely develop. It could even beat the old 'frozen prawn in the air vent' game.

Macheath - I can believe it. It doesn't look like an insect that is likely to turn and run.

This one's wings were crinkly when first discovered so it was very likely to have escaped its chrysalis that day.

All I have tonight is a crane-fly buzzing about. Possibly the least photogenic creature ever to have graced the planet, with the sole exception of the talking postbox Tiny Blur married.

JuliaM said...

It's been very good year for them - I've been asked to identify photos of them by my brother and several colleagues, all of whom found them in the garden!

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