What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: gwynedd ,North Wales, Uk
August 7, 2014 8:16 am
hello,
I have just seen a large caterpillar looking bug but I have never seen one this large.It was about 4 inches long and very fat but with a small head.can you identify it please. I live in North Wales.Uk.
Signature: Lesley T

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Lesley,
According to UK Moths, the Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Deilephila elpenor:  “feed[s] mainly on rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium), but also other plants as well, including bedstraw (Galium).  It is a common species in most of Britain, including Scotland, where it has increased its range in recent years.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Gwynedd, North Wales, UK

6 Responses to Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

  1. Angela Collin says:

    We found two of these in a garden in Newport South Wales today

  2. glenda carver says:

    I live in florida and have had this elephant moth in my butterfly garden for yhe last two years. I HAD ONE LARGE GREEN,TWO O F THE BROWN. i have really enjoyed them but they really enjoy my plants. I CAN’T SEM TO FIND THEM OR SEE THEMFLYING AROUND. WHERE DO THEY GO? THEY DON’T LEAVE A LOT OF THE TOP OF PLANT. THANKS FOR YOU’R HELP

    • bugman says:

      We are speculating that you observed Tersa Sphinx Caterpillars, Xylophanes tersa, not Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillars, which to the best of our knowledge have not been introduced from Europe to North America. Tersa Sphinxes are native, come in green and brown forms, and feed on Penta, a common cultivated plant. The adult Tersa Sphinx is not a diurnal species, so they are probably flying around your garden at night.

      • glenda carver says:

        THEY SURE LOOK JUST LIKE THE PICTURES. THE GREEN ONE GOT REALLY BIG. I WOLUD GO OUT ALL TIMES OF THE DAY AND RUB THEIR BACKS BUT THEY WOULD DISAPPEAR IN THE AFTERNOON. I WENT OUT YESTERDAY IN THE EARLY MORNING
        AND COULDN’T FIND THEM. BUT I NEVER SEE THEM FLYING. THEY ARE SO PRETTY WITH THE BIG EYES THERE IS ONLY THREE OR FOUR A YEAR. I TOOK A PICTURE BUT I AM NOT GOOD SENDING THINGS OVER THE COMPUTER. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP

  3. Gayle Zavala says:

    I just found one of these in our butterfly garden in South FLorida. Will it survive?

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