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 😭☺️
Healthy, happy, thriving <3
LOOK AT THIS FAT SAUSAGE
May 9, 2018
This butthead. She disappeared and I found her burrowing in the bedding. She was scouting for food, and I had to pick her up to taker to the ponysfoot. But now she WON’T LET GO. Those little suction cup prolegs they use to grab onto things aren’t actually suction cups. They have lots of little hooks called crochets, so they hold on until they’re ready to let go. And baby girl is NOT READY. That’s okay, baby, mommy likes hugs 😭