Author Topic: ID of beastie please  (Read 3658 times)

Offline TamaraEnLaPlaya

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ID of beastie please
« on: October 31, 2015, 23:55:09 pm »
Any ideas what this not so wee beastie might be?







Offline Tel501

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Re: ID of beastie please
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 04:47:27 am »
It looks like a moth larvae.

Offline Ole Man River

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Re: ID of beastie please
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 13:04:30 pm »
Hi Tamara. That's huge & brown. Very likely a Hawkmoth? Or one of the big brown butterflies, can't remember the name. Rather you than me.
We have had a Painted Lady in our garden this last week! Hooray!
Plus some small green caterpillars on one of my young plants - ugh!

Offline SheilaW

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Re: ID of beastie please
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 13:58:21 pm »
Just noticed loads on my false pepper trees - I think that's what's pictured, isn't it? They lie along the length of the twigs, really well camouflaged on the brown ones. I haven't noticed any particular damage yet but I'm sure I will.

Offline TamaraEnLaPlaya

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Re: ID of beastie please
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2015, 23:30:49 pm »
Thanks for the replies everyone.
OMR - I don't think it's the Hawkshead, I seem to remember that was shorter, fatter and with the interesting markings that made it look like a face on one end. Could well be one of the other moths.
Seen a number of different butterflies this last week which is great after they had seemed to go missing this year. Plagued by the geranium scourge, procesionaria del pino caterpillars at the moment.
SW - yes, it's on a false pepper tree, working it's way along the branches and devouring the leaves. It gave me a fright before I saw it the first time, I had gone to hold the branch and my fingers closed round this soft, squishy thing - yuck! I've let it be though as I'd like to see what it becomes although the chances of seeing it eventually emerge as a flying thing are probably second to none! Only the one on this tree that I've been able to spot.


Offline TamaraEnLaPlaya

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Re: ID of beastie please
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2015, 00:36:14 am »
Not so wee beastie is growing daily  :o
I went searching through plants today looking for other beasties and found a Mirabilis that had had virtually all it's leaves stripped - culprits were 2 Hawkshead moth caterpillars and 2 unidentified caterpillars that were same size as the hawksheads but bright green. Poor plant didn't stand a chance against their combined munching power.
Is it the rain that has prompted all this moth/butterfly reproduction or is it just their normal season?

Are you out there Pho? Any clues?

Offline Ole Man River

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Re: ID of beastie please
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2015, 11:40:40 am »
Hi Tamara, thanks for the update. I tried the Butterfly Association in the winter. Did not get much in specifics though, except that climate & habitat can affect them. I also contacted Pho. He comes here regularly & has done a study but again no facts about what may have happened here. So no more info but fingers crossed!

Offline TamaraEnLaPlaya

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Re: ID of beastie please
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2015, 01:02:20 am »
Not so wee beastie has disappeared! Hope he hasn't been taken by a bird although that would be nature.
My 2 bright green caterpillars on the mirabilis appear to have turned into brown Hawksheads, green must just be their babygros!
Loads of 'nice' butterflies around today, including a couple of the very large ones.

Offline SheilaW

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Re: ID of beastie please
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2015, 17:20:48 pm »
Did he do much damage, Tamara? I've had the bright green ones causing havoc on my veg, especially courgettes, but I haven't seen a great deal of damage from those monsters on the false pepper trees. Maybe I don't need to worry about them.

Offline TamaraEnLaPlaya

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Re: ID of beastie please
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2015, 23:53:03 pm »
Hi Sheila
The one on the false pepper did very little damage - to be honest I wouldn't have realised something had been munching unless I had seen him.
The ones on the mirabilis are a different story - they have stripped the plants to bare stalks (lots of these monster caterpillars on smallish plants though) - however these plants keep putting out new stalks and there are loads of seedlings just coming through so I'm not too bothered - glad to have provided a meal to interesting diners!
The smaller green caterpillars that attack veg plants are another story - get rid of them by any means you can if you want your veg to survive for you to eat! Normally these are the caterpillars of the cabbage white butterflies - aptly named!