large caterpillar

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moved 2 crete
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Location: Kolimbari, Chania

large caterpillar

Postby moved 2 crete » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:18 pm

We found 2 large caterpillars, as long and as thick as a forefinger orange under body black along the back with thin white stripes running the length of the body and 2 black spots either side of the head like eyes, the cats showed interest then it reared its head and they ran away, we got our Greek neighbour to make enquiries on our behalf, he also had not seen any like this, he went the university office in Chania they told him it was a species of Sphingidae commonly called a Hawkshead moth other species are Acheroutia Atropos, we were very relieved as my partner was worried that it may have been poisonous and harmed the animals, is this a rare moth?
Dave H

bobscott
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Postby bobscott » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:44 am

Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

FlatEric
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Postby FlatEric » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:32 am

Interesting example of nature mimicking to deter predators. You didn't say but I assume it had the characteristic hawk moth 'spike' at its rear end. We used to get a lot of Lime Hawk Moths around when I was a child in the UK.

I like to watch the Humming Bird Hawk Moths feeding here but haven't seen any caterpillars. Does anyone know what they feed on? I think they tend to be specific feeders rather than general 'grazers'.

Stuart

moved 2 crete
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Location: Kolimbari, Chania

Postby moved 2 crete » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:12 pm

Thanks to Eric and Scott, yes it has a horn at the rear, we see the nearest to it is the leafy spurge moth but not the exact same in markings, thanks again for the info.
Dave H

Barbary Coaster
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Postby Barbary Coaster » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:47 pm

FlatEric wrote:. Does anyone know what they feed on? I think they tend to be specific feeders rather than general 'grazers'.

Stuart


Most of the big Hawk Moths found on Crete are Oleander Hawk Moths.

We regularly find the big green caterpillars chomping on Oleander
Despite the high cost of living it remains popular

SatCure
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Location: Apokoronas

Postby SatCure » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:15 pm

Isn't Oleander poisonous to most animals?
We're not even allowed to burn it.

moved 2 crete wrote:they told him it was a species of Sphingidae commonly called a Hawkshead moth


Hawkshead doesn't produce any search results.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:34 pm

"Hawkshead moth" in Google produces "About 360,000 results (0.14 seconds)" or so it says at the top of the first results page.

"hawkshead" - About 483,000 results (0.31 seconds)

FlatEric
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Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 10:12 am

Postby FlatEric » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:12 am

Hi Martin. I think some caterpillars can cope with quite high levels of toxins. Some just excrete it and some retain it as a defence mechanism. I don't know about Hawk Moth species.
All very interesting. To me anyway!

Stuart


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