Sunday, October 05, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are


"Wild Thing" (Click for larger views)
Plebeian Sphinx moth, Paratrea plebeja
West Odessa, Texas

Apparently the answer to where the wild things are is frequently in my house, and specifically in my bedroom. Long time followers of my blog will remember that there is a trumpet vine that grows outside my bedroom window, and even more strikingly, inside my bedroom window. It is that wild vine that has now attracted this kind of moth. In its caterpillar (larva) form it has found a way inside also.

I discovered it hanging on my curtain this morning, looking from a distance just like a folded leaf. And what a big surprise seeing it was a leaf with legs!

Before I returned it to the great outdoors where it belongs (in my humble opinion), I brought into the studio (the kitchen table) for a few fearless close up shots.

A July 2007 shot of my vine as it grows outside and inside.
An August 2007 shot of the vine as it continues to grow, searching for what?
The site Discover Life where I was able to identify the caterpillar based on its body color and features.
The site Butterflies and Moths has a nice write up about it. I'm fascinated that this guy isn't usually found this far west.


Irene said...

To me he just looks like another one of those really scrumptious appetizers that you fry up in real butter and a bit of garlic. Mmm...tasty!

Katlynn's Momma said...

Wow, he's kindof cute. I will have to be sure to show Kit.

Bev said...

I remember the vine picture.

Honestly, what are these Europeans like - they'll be eating snails next LOL

He does look very plump and healthy, and the rains you have been having must have been beneficial to vines.

Bobbie said...

I love this idea, that the wild things are taking over your house. The first one was Homo sapiens var Debi. lol!

Did U notice that you grow two of their host foods? The trumpet vine, and the passion vine?

p.s. very nice photos!

Frances said...

that site is great. I need to find one to look up the big caterpillars we find walking around - I can't find them on the North American site, but I guess those Netherlanders may have eaten them out of existance while they lived in the States.

John said...

meta.morphasis, or however you sell or spell it. Great study and the vine pics links are pre-me.

D.C. Confidential said...

Wow! Stunning photos, Debi. That's one lucky caterpillar. Hope the weather stays warm enough for it to finish its metamorphosis.