It's a few weeks since a little gift of eggs was left in my Lady's Bedstraw in my flower border. I was so excited that I wrote a blog about it, delighted that a plant I had grown specially had finally been used for the purpose I intended. I looked forward to the day when they would turn into a clutch of bouncing babies.
Well, that date has come. And here is one of my seven bouncing babies that have survived so far, all green and rubbery and chomping away merrily.
You can hopefully make out that the tail ends (on the left) with a perfectly curved little 'thorn'. Once you see that, you know that you have the caterpillar of a hawkmoth.
And the grass-green colour, flecked with little white 'warts' and with yellow lines along the side just like the stems of Lady's Bedstraw are proof that this is indeed a Hummingbird Hawkmoth.
I expect my caterpillars to pupate in another week or so, and after that they have about a month in the pupa before they emerge. That gives the new adults just enough time, if the weather is kind and we get some warm October days, to either migrate south, or to find somewhere very sheltered and frost-free to hibernate.
Oh, the joys of being a father!
Forget my hawkmoths - I'm envious of the baby grass snakes!
Proud dad of seven and deservedly so, I get a kick every time something new arrives, stays and breeds. I can’t boast anything as exotic as a humming bird hawk moth but my compost heap is wriggling with tiny grass snakes. I am incredibly proud of them.
I hope some or all of your caterpillars survive to pupate and you will take some photos of the chrysalides and post them in a future blog.
Congratulations, what an exciting event and I look forward to updates on your "babies."
Very informative and amusing.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654