Rather pretty, isn't he? Well, if you like caterpillars and worms, that is. I know at least a couple of you who definitely don't. He's pretty little... only about an inch and a half long. Nothing to fear. ;)
I found him on a purslane weed. Hurray - something that likes to eat purslane, one of my most hated weeds!
I saved him, of course. I was sure Courtney would be interested. I put him in her daddy's "critter cage", which was made for him many years ago by his Uncle Dale (a frequent commenter here).
There's a door on the other end of the cage that drops down when you open the latch. You can see it below. It's kind of hard to see the caterpillar through the screen, though.
Here's a better look:
I didn't know what kind of caterpillar it was, so I did some searching. Wow, are there ever a lot of different kinds of caterpillars in the world! There are many, many of them shown in this gallery, if you're interested or trying to identify something yourself. That's where I found this guy. It turns out he's a White-Lined Sphinx larva. They can be many different colors. I was just lucky that this one was so distinct.
I showed you a sphinx moth one time here, with even a video of it flying. Sphinx moths are often mistaken for hummingbirds.
After I put this caterpillar in the cage, it crawled up onto the screen and has remained there ever since. I don't know if he doesn't like being confined and is just going to die there, or if he's going to make his cocoon/chrysalis. According to this site (which also has a pic of the pupa stage), it only takes about 10 days for them to hatch. We shall see what happens, and of course if I get a moth, I'll show you a photo!
*Update: I wrote this post last night. This morning I noticed that the caterpillar was down on the leaves again, so I got some fresh purslane and replaced the old. Maybe there's hope yet! Then I did a little searching on how they pupate. Oh, dear... sounds like a lot of bother. They need soil to burrow into. See the video I found here. Do I do that, or do I just let him go back to the garden? ("Him"? "Her"? Do caterpillars have genders???)