coloursofmemory's picture

Giant catapillar

Observed: 15th August 2013 By: coloursofmemorycoloursofmemory’s reputation in Invertebratescoloursofmemory’s reputation in Invertebratescoloursofmemory’s reputation in Invertebrates

Crossing the yard at 4 pm. I thought it was unusual for a large slug to be out at this time and went to pick it up before realising it was a caterpillar!

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Elephant Hawk-Moth (Deilephila elpenor) interacts


ahb's picture

Giant caterpillar

It's an Elephant Hawk moth larva - not sure which type of Elephant though!

Alan Brampton (Benson)

chrisbrooks's picture

ID comment

The presence of a horn near the tail suggests the Elephant Hawk-moth rather than the Small Elephant Hawk-moth.

Wildpad's picture

Elephant Hawk moth caterpillar

Just to say that if you have no Food Plant of Rosebay Willow Herb nearby, then they feed happily on garden fuchsia!

coloursofmemory's picture

Plant foods

Thanks for that. How much will it need? We have some rosebay willow herb, but it's starting to die back. When will the caterpillar go off to pupate?

ophrys's picture


Quite soon it will be off, I think. It is full size and looks quite dark, as if it will soon pupate. You can breed them through easily, if you put them in a large sweet-container-type-thing with some gauzy stuff on top and a bit of compost in the bottom. Put some willowherb in and see what happens. Replace that regularly until it does pupate. Then just leave it somewhere cool through the winter and watch out next spring. You'll either get a moth or a fly!


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