view of a Death head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s-head Hawkmoth Caterpillar. Photo: Bryony Howlett

view of a Death's Head Hawkmoth caterpillar found on potatoes

Death’s-head Hawkmoth Caterpillar. Photo: Bryony Howlett

Bryony had a surprise when she visited her vegetable patch at home in Sturminster Newton on 17/9/18. She found three Death’s-head Hawkmoth caterpillars who appear to be at the stage when they will be pupating underground in a fragile cocoon until October. However this immigrant moth is unable to overwinter.

The adult moth is rarely seen, but causes great excitement among moth-ers when one is found, usually in the south of the UK. They are most likely to visit allotments and gardens and if pesticides are not used the result can be the appearance of colourful caterpillars such as these .

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