unknown bug Location: Bristol, England August 11, 2011 6:47 pm I was riding my bike the other day through the woods and i suddenly seen this bug on the path, so i moved it off the path onto the grass so it didnt get run over by bike riders. i took a picture of it and shown friends and they didnt know what it was either, we was thinking some kind of caterpillar maybe? id really appreciate your help, as i have been looking to find out what this is for some time now. Signature: Ben Vickers

Privet Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Hi Ben, This is a Privet Hawkmoth Caterpillar.  According to the UK Moths website:  “The large caterpillar is even more spectacular than the moth, being bright green with lilac and white stripes along the side, and a curved black ‘horn’ at the rear. It feeds on privet (Ligustrum), lilac (Syringa) and ash (Fraxinus).”

Ed. NOte:  Because of a comment from David Gracer, we have created a Bug Humanitarian Award tag.

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Location: UK

3 Responses to Privet Hawkmoth Caterpillar from the UK

  1. Dave says:

    Non-Edibility comment:

    Hi Daniel [and Ben],

    Really good of you to go out of your way to assist a fellow living creature.
    Daniel, this kind of thing might even deserve its own tag. You’ve got the whole ‘unnecessary carnage’ thing down, but what about its opposite? “Service to the smaller creatures” variety…


    • bugman says:

      Hi Dave,
      This is a really nice idea. Several months ago, we featured Anna Carreon of Hawthorne, California with the Insect Humanitarian of the Week Award because she rescued a Long Legged Fly from the birdbath. We have received many accounts of people rescuing drowning creatures from swimming pools and pet bowls, however, it might be difficult to locate them all in our archives. We also received a wonderful letter many years ago from a gentleman who has a Cicada Killer Breeding Program, and that would surely qualify as a Bug Humanitarian Award. Many of our readers raise Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars in captivity and then release them into the wild, including this wonderful letter with a fabulous photo from Dori Eldridge in Naperville, Illinois, and we can try to locate those for Bug Humanitarian Award tagging. Sadly, we will not be able to locate every individual from our archives who has done kind things for Arthropods, but we can at least initiate a new tag. This would even include our readers who deliberately provide habitat for insects in their own gardens by including plants in the landscape that attract butterflies or by encouraging beetles and other predators so that their gardens can be pesticide free. Thanks again for a fine idea.

  2. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    Great record. It is indeed unusual to find this species’ caterpillar on a Bignoniacea! This is the first known case I suppose… In the New World, however, some closely related Sphinx-species are found on both Oleaceae and Bignoniaceae, as eg. Sphinx leucopheata from Mexico.

    Great wishes

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