27.10.11

Oleander Hawk Moth Caterpillar

There are some very chubby caterpillars with blue eye-liners on my periwinkle plants.
They are the Oleander Hawk Moth Caterpillars.


These green caterpillars have 2 big blue eye-spots that make them look bigger than they really are.
The purpose of these eye-spots are to scare away possible predators.

  

From observation, when the caterpillar is 'startled', its blue eyes widen abruptly, even a human being would back off.
I certainly did.
My dog startled the caterpillar by walking through the periwinkle plants and that action brought about a domino effect.


By the time, I decided to capture its large scary eyes and gotten near to the caterpillar again, it looked grumpy instead.


This caterpillar is green, blending well with the surroundings and often go unnoticed.
Since they are slow and soft-bodied, they need to camouflage to protect themselves from predators.


It has 3 pairs of jointed legs with hooks attached to its thorax.


It has another 5 pairs of stumpy legs on its abdomen.


The caterpillar has powerful jaws and spends most of its time eating.
It holds on to the food with its thoracic legs.
This particular one is chewing off the leaves of a periwinkle plant.


I observed that the caterpillars start their meal from the top of a plant, working downwards before moving on to another.
That only makes sense.
Imagine if it were to start eating from the bottom, it will be exposed by the time it reaches the top with no leaves to protect it.

Below are some caterpillar poop.


I must admit that these pellets look very interesting to me.


There are constant transformation in these caterpillars.


Notice the mouthpiece?
It was round before and then became pointed.
It changes from green to brown.


This caterpillar is about to transform into a chrysalis.
It is lying horizontal now and is on its way towards the ground.
It has been raining daily, I hope it doesn't drown.


Goodbye!
I may never see this again since it will be transforming to a moth that only appears at night.

Linking up with:
This or That Thursday
Fabulous Friday
Macro Friday

48 comments:

  1. Czytałam to i oglądałam z wielkim zaciekawieniem. Mam nadzieję, ze z gąsienicy o niebieskich oczach będzie piękny motyl. Zdjęcia niesamowite. Pozdrawiam

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  2. What fantastic photos. You really captured everything on this little guy.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  3. Spectacular, what a great series!!

    Saun Live by the sun Love by the moon

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  4. Wonderful, I love the photos and those blue eyes are spectacular!

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  5. he has lilac hands. how sweet is that! great shots! :)

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  6. Pretty cute little caterpillar. Lovely shots with the changes in colors. tQ.

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  7. Your photos look like its from 3D animation graphic. Really cool.

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  8. You really filled the frame with this guy, nice photos you got following it around.

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  9. That is exactly the same caterpillar i posted last time, which devoured all the periwinkle leaves, and now died. I didn't see its changing to brown or to cocoon. One caterpillar ate the whole leaves of the plant. But definitely your photos are much much better than mine. I wish i had that lens too. It is so scary in the first photo. When i want its 'eyes' to open I touch it with a stick, but eventually it got used to it and don't open anymore.

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  10. ... a great series ... fantastic pictures ...
    LG: Karin

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  11. What an intriguing critter - he is beautiful in his green form!

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  12. I have never seen anything quite like that first one.
    It is an absolutely AMAZING macro!
    Beautifully done.

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  13. WOW! These photos are incredible. What wonderful macros.

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  14. Your photos are wonderful, and you've explained the caterpillar perfectly. What an interesting, informative post!

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  15. What a gorgeous caterpillar. I love these insects. Elegant excrement too.

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  16. that first shot is stunning. You should make a book out of your bugs!!!!

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  17. my hat's off to you!

    what terrific and DREAMY shots!!

    i am loving your photography!

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  18. Now that’s a cute chubby caterpillar!

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  19. These are some amazing photos. Love the colors, and macro.

    What lens did you use??

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  20. Wonderful photos! such bright colors

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  21. I hope you get to see and photograph the oleander moths that emerge from the chrysalis. I have seen a pair of mating moths in my garden a few years ago but didn't take any pictures - no camera :( They are really beautiful. Your pics are stunning! The vinca is supposed to be a poisonous plant but it is no harm to this caterpillar. Now, I wonder did the caterpillar become poisonous for others to eat after eating the vinca leaves?

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  22. The 'eyes' on that caterpillar are amazing! Your photography is even more amazing. I really enjoyed your post. Really fabulous photos!

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  23. Looks kind of extraterrestrial. Very beautiful photos.

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  24. What a wonderful post. I have never seen a caterpillar so closely! I loved all the images, and was amazed at the detail. I have to admit, I've never seen caterpillar poop before! Actually, I've never even thought about it before!

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  25. Oh, so super cute! Although,it suddenly give me goose bumps :)

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  26. He certainly looks like he's from another world! Enjoyed your amazing shots.

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  27. Oh my goodness, these are absolutely brilliant. I am a huge fan of macro and that first shot took my breath away. So beautiful.

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  28. One - your photos get better and better, and the creatures seem more beautiful.

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  29. A wonderful series of images. In some of the photos, it looks like something from outer space.

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  30. I'm in absolute awe of your first photo.

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  31. Wow. Awesome photographs! I could see how those bright blue eyes could be intimidating!

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  32. Beautiful! It was so great to see so many aspects of the caterpillar. Fantastic photos!

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  33. WOW!! What an amazing and beautiful series of images!

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  34. AWEsome shots! I love those photos that the caterpillar looks angry lol. Happy weekend!

    Macro Friday

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  35. These are quite amazing pictures! What 'eyes' this caterpillar has.

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  36. What a cute caterpillar! I wouldn't mind seeing them in my periwinkle next year. :o)

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  37. It is nice see caterpillars in great detail.... and it is really wonderful that you observed the beautiful creature so well.....

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  38. Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing!

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  39. Beautiful photos and post! Now whenever I see a caterpillar, it will take me back to this post!

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  40. It's really nicely documented post! Beautiful pictures!

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  41. Wow those are AMAZING photographs!! I see the moths in my garden (at night) but I've never noticed those caterpillars. Shows how well they camoflage themselves.

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  42. how cute are those tiny purple hands......

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  43. Really loved it. Great work. Brief, to the point and yet elaborate enough. Pictures are very good quality. All in all, great article, thanks a lot as I was very keenly looking for info on this lovely creature, and there was not much available (not even on Wiki)

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  44. Hey.. Thanks..that was really very informative.. As I found 2-3 of such caterpillars in my garden too:)

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