Wednesday, June 6, 2012

And Caterpillars Too

We often see the flowers and trees first, then maybe we notice the birds, the butterflies flitting around, feral cats stalking about. Grasses and the non-flowering perennials and annuals come later. But there's even more going on that isn't immediately visible to the quick scanning eye. For example, check out this monster!

This is the larva of the white-lined sphinx moth, Hyles lineata, which can be found flying around and pollinating flowers all about the neighborhood. The adult moths look like hummingbirds hovering in front of flowers and come out at dusk. This larva was found yesterday munching on an unidentified plant near the alamo vine where the creek intersects with Cherrywood. It's about 5 inches long or so, building up energy to transform into the adult moth.