Yesterday I mowed the front yard (ugh) and I hurt a baby!!! I was so sad and I felt so bad, especially since the baby was about to molt (you can see the new head under her skin behind the tiny head in the second photo). I brought her inside where she is safe, and laid her under a sunflower leaf to keep her cool and protected. I checked on her and it didn’t seem like she was going to make it (she was… bleeding? leaking?).
This morning I checked on her. She was NOT under her sunflower leaf—only her old clothes were there. Instead, she had climbed up the stem of the plant I’m feeding a Tawny Emperor, and she had TURNED BLACK! A lot of caterpillars will undergo some dramatic color changes as they mature, but in the species I’ve raised, the change is usually pretty slow and subtle. Not with these guys!!
I gave the baby some new plants. Not sure what species this is (she is a sphinx or hawkmoth for sure), but hopefully a variety of sunflowers growing under my bird feeders are enough to satisfy her. These caterpillars tend not to be *too* picky.
She looks like she has a couple marks, but otherwise has recovered from her injuries. I hope she makes it 😭
May 6, 2018
Update! Just got home, and the baby is eating the ponysfoot! This stuff grows around my house, which is EXCITING because it’s FULL OF SPHINX CATERPILLARS?!?!
Also: species is pink spotted hawkmoth :3
She made a poop! Look how hungry she is!!! I think she’s going to be okay 😭☺️