brianaw

17 Sep 2008 273 views
 
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photoblog image Deilephila elpenor

Deilephila elpenor

A couple of weeks ago my son called me into the garden because this weird creature was laying on the garden path. It was about 3 inches long and from the front had a face just like a snake. Being unsure what it was my son prodded it into a jar and took it out to a safe place in the front garden. Strangely enough Maureen found another one a few days later in almost the same place.

A quick search on Google discovered that it is the caterpillar of the Elephant Hawk Moth and is one that raises more enquiries to wildlife groups than almost any other insect. More details of the creature and what it looks like when it turns into a moth can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deilephila_elpenor

Our local paper, the Loughborough/Shepshed Echo, has a page reserved for pictures of unusual wildlife found in peoples gardens and this picture made the top of the page last Friday I'm pleased to say.

Deilephila elpenor

A couple of weeks ago my son called me into the garden because this weird creature was laying on the garden path. It was about 3 inches long and from the front had a face just like a snake. Being unsure what it was my son prodded it into a jar and took it out to a safe place in the front garden. Strangely enough Maureen found another one a few days later in almost the same place.

A quick search on Google discovered that it is the caterpillar of the Elephant Hawk Moth and is one that raises more enquiries to wildlife groups than almost any other insect. More details of the creature and what it looks like when it turns into a moth can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deilephila_elpenor

Our local paper, the Loughborough/Shepshed Echo, has a page reserved for pictures of unusual wildlife found in peoples gardens and this picture made the top of the page last Friday I'm pleased to say.

comments (8)

Fame at last Brian ... Interesting find for your son... I trust his naturalist enthusiasm will have been heightened by this discovery. richard
Brian Walbey: Thanks Richard, my Chris's naturalist enthusiasm amounts to sitting on a lakeside hoping to catch a 40lb.Carp or something similar. It wasn't a habit he inherited from me I must say.
Well done Brian! That is a serious caterpillar!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Bill, we thought it might have been something out of a box of bananas that had escaped at first, I hope we get to see the moth when it hatches.
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 17 Sep 2008, 15:38
Top of the page and top of the class, Brian. Congratulations!! And I LOVE your crop and border/framing!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Ginnie, I tried to brighten up was is quite a dull creature to look at.
Quite a big beasty by British standards - though I bet they have bigger things in Africa! Interesting.
Brian Walbey: Yes Ian, and I bet they eat the ones in Africa as well smile Thanks for your comment.
It looks delicious!
Brian Walbey: Lol I will give you first bite of one of these Chris, thanks for your comment.
  • tim
  • some were in Armley, Leeds:)
  • 17 Sep 2008, 18:49
really nice presentation Brian and well done on the publicationsmile
Brian Walbey: Thanks Tim, believe it or not there was another picture from someone else in this weeks edition so they are not so rare as I thought.
  • Alan
  • Southampton, on the sunny south coast of England
  • 17 Sep 2008, 21:39
Goodness! Well spotted, Brian. An amazing looking bug!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Alan, I would like to think we might see the full grown moth one day.
  • anniedog
  • United Kingdom
  • 17 Sep 2008, 22:57
It looks rather alarming, especially its size! I have seen the moth once or twice and that is amazing. Well spotted.
Ingrid
Brian Walbey: Thanks Ingrid, this was about the size of an adults index finger and the face markings make it look a bit like a snake which apparently is one of its forms of defence.

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