R3beccaf's picture

Large green caterpillar

Observed: 19th August 2009 By: R3beccafR3beccaf’s reputation in InvertebratesR3beccaf’s reputation in Invertebrates
Green caterpillar, Milton Keynes
Green caterpillar, Milton Keynes
Green caterpillar, Milton Keynes

We took three photos of this caterpillar. We found it on the mown grass near Loughton Lodge lake in Milton Keynes, UK. Although it looks really well camouflaged as a rolled-up green leaf, it stood out because it was nothing like the leaves of nearby trees and was a very vivid green. It was about the size of an adult's little finger. It has what looks like a blue spike on its head. We've got a video as well, but I couldn't upload that here.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Eyed Hawk-moth (Smerinthus ocellata) interacts


rimo's picture


A tricky one - I've never come across a Poplar larva with a blue horn - could it be the green form of Eyed Hawk? Unlike the blue form in Porter, it has far less red on the spiracles, and the horn and head colouration match the pictures here. Definately agree it's not Lime though - the absence of the yellow brush below the horn, on the hind claspers, is diagnostic

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dshubble's picture

Eyed or Poplar?

Tricky indeed - however, it has been noted (e.g. in South's old moth book) that Eyed caterpillars don't always have the red spiracles/dots while Poplar's can be reddish. Also, I'm also unaware of a blue-horned form of Poplar. So, on balance, I'm tempted to buck the trend and go for Eyed...