Saturday, August 6, 2011

August 2011: The Cycle of life, Macro...

Today, I found two huge caterpillars in my plants. After research it turned out to be a very rare specie, and one of the most impressive one, the Sphinx ligustri aka Privet Hawk Moth and is remarkable for its size (12 cm length and 1 cm width!!! =4.7 inches!!!, much bigger than my finger) and bright green color.

One which practically ate all the leaves of my slow starter eggplant tree. One leave left to be accurate, which should be gone by the end of the day, considering that two days ago, it had all its leaves.

Second one is on my tomato plant. But surrounded by eggs that did not look too nice in the first place but after research taught me how amazing life can be. When a caterpillar goes to a tomato plant, the tomato plant start spreading a smell that combine to the smell of the caterpillar attract wasp to put their eggs on it, and start feeding themselves from the caterpillar, transformed into a zombie. Which at the same time protect the plant from being eaten and feed a whole new generation of wasp.

I called earlier my mum to tell her how terrified I was, she laugh and told me to take pictures and post them on my blog. Since then, I read a lot, then went back outside with the telephoto lens (not too courageous still :-) and took the shots below, for your entertainment. Hoping you won't be too traumatized.

I called that one tarzan

As I was mentioning, it left one leave...

Just remember this thing is twelve centimeter long

The tail is apparently inoffensive, and the caterpillar too slow anyway.

Overall cute, some even say that it is very soft (didn't try touching it though).

They call it sphinx because of its attitude.

That one is in zombie mode.

Still had the time to eat one tomato plant before its new era as zombie!

picture by Isabelle Duverger

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