Saturday, March 26, 2016

A special critter sighting

Last weekend while visiting with John and family in the Drakensberg, I had the pleasure of photographing a very special critter.  Eryn and Bethany called me to look at several hawk-moth caterpillar in the quinine trees (Ruavolfia caffra) along the driveway. 
At first I struggled to see the critter, so well camouflaged it was in the leaves

We spotted another one along the branch 
Picking it up gently, Eryn placed it on the ground for me to photograph
The large oriental markings on its head, are mock eyes. The real eyes are small and situated lower down on the face 
Isn't it beautiful?

Once I'd downloaded the photos onto my computer, I looked for a positive ID on the critter. Eventually I came across a website of Dr Krishna Mohan. It had several images which matched my find.  I sent him photos for confirmation; he replied yesterday in the affirmative. 
Oleander Hawk-moth caterpillar - see here

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here



  1. Beautiful caterpillar. Those mock eyes are really something. Great captures Jo. Have a wonderful and blessed Easter Weekend.

  2. He looks a beauty with those fake eyes to scare off predators.

  3. I think those stretch up as far as here. We have Oleanders so I'll keep a lookout.

  4. great find and those mock eyes are very funny. HAPPY EASTER and have a great week ahead.

  5. Good morning!:) What a handsome caterpillar with those pseudo eyes, which will look rather menacing to preditors. Now I'm going to see what the moth looks like!:)

  6. Hello JO, awesome sighting of the caterpillar. Those mock eyes are cool. Great series of photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy weekend! Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter!

  7. What a plump little green fellow.

  8. great job on the photos of this pretty little guy/gal... I have never seen the moth, it is beautiful. I know the caterpillars destroy the oleanders and our neighbors use to pull them off and kill them. I never thought about the moth being gone. in Savannah GA the oleanders are tree sized and they spray them to keep the caterpillars off. even the smoke from burning oleander is toxic.

  9. Wonderful macros of your Oleander Hawk-moth caterpillar. He's a real beauty!

  10. Wow, how brilliant this caterpillar! Nice photos!
    I'm here imagining the beautiful butterfly that will come later...

    Happy Easter!

  11. Very cool! Joan would go nuts for that one.

  12. That's a real strange creature, looks almost out of a cartoon !
    Happy Easter !


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