Thursday, September 12, 2013

White-Lined Sphinx... more

You may have notice that I added an update to my first post about the white-lined sphinx caterpillar. I'd found a link to a YouTube video explaining how to get the caterpillar to make its cocoon and then hatch into the moth. It showed this huge container that you have to put several inches of dirt into the bottom of for the caterpillar to burrow into. It seemed like a lot of bother, and I was tempted to just put him back into the garden and let him do his thing out there. But, curiousity got the best of me, and I decided to keep him in the house and give the captivity pupation a try.

It turned out that Courtney's mommy had done this before, and I asked her what size container she used, because I didn't want to have to come up with something that big. She had used something much smaller, so I decided a large peanut butter jar would suffice.

Yesterday morning I headed out to the garden to get the dirt for it, and wouldn'tcha know, right outside my back door happened to be a sphinx moth, busily sucking nectar from my hosta blooms! So I went back into the house, grabbed the camera and shot him for you. Of course, they don't stay in one spot very long, and their wings are constantly moving, so it was hard to get good pics. Here are the best I could do:

I wasn't even going to keep this second one, because it had turned out way too dark. But a little editing made it actually a kind of cool photo:

After that little photo session, I headed out to the garden once again. Since my little green guy seemed to like purslane, I needed to get some fresh sprigs to add to his new home, too. As you can see, I have a plentiful supply of that, even after having pulled out tons of it lately.

Here's the new caterpillar "house". Looks a bit like a terrarium, doesn't it? I guess it sort of is one. The purslane would probably root down if it didn't get eaten. It's a VERY persistent weed!

The transfer went smoothly, and here he is, all moved in:

Incidentally, you may have noticed the little "horn" on his back end. In the photos in my other post, that horn appears to be damaged, almost like it got burnt or something. However, it's back to normal now! Maybe he grew a new one? Too bad I didn't think to get a better shot of it. It's barely visible below, that tiny yellowish thing you can see:

He seems very happy in there, and he ate like crazy yesterday. I think he's already grown about half an inch, making him about 2 inches long now. I wonder when he'll start digging.


Jessica Jones said...

I like this project.

annie dee said...

Sounds way too complicated for me but I didn't get a lot of sleep last night... Hey - enjoy!

Grandma G said...

Yeah, Jess... it's kinda fun. I'm not too thrilled about the hauling manure part, though... this guy poops a LOT! Ha! Hope he does his cocoon thing pretty soon.

Uh oh... more thunderstorms, Annie?

annie dee said...

No Grandma G - this time it was one of the cat boys who when inside, wanted out and when outside, wanted in. All night. And talked a lot about the indignity of having to deal with not too bright sleepy humans...

Grandma G said...

Oh, the joys of pets sometimes. Hope he doesn't make a habit of it!

Mark said...

I hope this works, this is very interesting. I guess when all the cows are gone you still have the need to feed and clean up after the animals.

Grandma G said...

Ha! I don't think that's ever really been a 'need' of mine, Mark. :)