Yes, I’m quite taken with the Kublai Khan of NetFlix’s Marco Polo. When I saw this gigantic caterpillar on my favorite tomato plant, which had developed a lot of leafless, fruitless stems, I thought, “Kublai Khan.”
I’ve never seen the cocoon of one of these. I’m thinking this one has got to be pretty close to the spinning-its-cocoon stage.
Last year I tried taking a much smaller one off a tomato plant I particularly liked, and putting it on a less favorite plant. The caterpillar did not stay on the plant I chose for it.
I hope this caterpillar turns into a huge sphinx moth that will visit lots of flowers and lay lots of eggs.
Sphinx moths are those really fast ones that some people call Hummingbird Moths.
8/12/2017 ~ Rather than doing crosswords, I go outside and see if I can find the Sphinx Moth caterpillars on my tomato plants. Despite their large size, they are pretty hard to find. I love Sphinx Moths, so I’m happy to feed a few caterpillars.
I moved the caterpillar below to a tomato plant with scads of leaves and few tomatoes. As far as I can tell, the caterpillars go down to the ground in the evening. I can’t find one on any stem or leaf once it’s going on toward evening. I would guess it’s warmer on the ground for them.
Sometimes I can’t help petting them. When I do, they tend to arch their heads the way horses do when they are feeling particularly proud of themselves.