Sunday, September 16, 2012

Caterpillars, Moths and Tortoise News

We have interesting visitors out thisaway. Tonight, V found this incredible caterpillar. It measured five inches long and was as thick as my thumb. We think it might be an Achemon Sphinx caterpillar, which turns into a "hummingbird moth" so call because of it's hovering tendency while feeding on nectar.

V wanted to keep the caterpillar, and given her history with "kept pets," I wasn't game. But, on second thought, there are probably LOADS of these out here. This one just happened to waddle into our mini orchard. Plus, if she feeds it, this could be a fun science experiment.

Turns out the project only lasted a couple of days before she decided to release the caterpillar. Maybe we'll see him again when he flies in his next phase.

Meanwhile, she continues to care for her tortoise. We're down to one again after the loss of her second little tortoise. As the vet said, these are very difficult to raise, and not exactly kid-friendly projects for that very reason. Turns out that perhaps no matter what we'd done for the tiniest tortoise, its care earlier in its life probably had more to do with its demise due to a calcium deficiency which led to a soft shell and, ultimately, it's death. Naming it after the first tortoise (from the same source and died the same death) might not have been a good omen.

Farewell, Leo II.


  1. I think the Caterpillar might be a tomato worm. they will cut your tomato plant off at the base, Killing the whole plant. One of the few bugs that chickens will not eat.

  2. Yep. I think they're tomato hornworms. We tried to feed them to the chickens, but they weren't interested. The kitties played with them for a bit. We moved them far from the garden. We don't know whether they'll make it back, succumb to the heat or be eaten by crows or coyotes. At least it's the end of the tomato season!


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