help identify large caterpiller (uk)

sheila somethng at
Fri Aug 28 13:02:43 EDT 1998

I also have 2 of these striking caterpillars on my fuschias.
They don't seem to be eating an enormous amount  at the
moment. Can any tell me when they are likely to turn into
crysalis and how long after that will the turn in moths.

Thanks in advance,

"Barrie Harwood" <Barrie.Harwood at> wrote:

>This is undoubtedly the larvae of the Elephant Hawkmoth (D. elpenor).
>This is quite a common moth and the larvae feeds most commonly on Willowherb
>(particularly Rose Bay Willowherb) and Fuschia although it has been found on
>many other plants
>The 'spur' as you call it is, of course, totally harmless and is a classic
>feature of hawkmoths
>Ilweran wrote in message
><1998082121493300.RAA29922 at>...
>>the caterpiller is about one and a half inches long.It has two eye spots on
>>each side  just behind what I would say was its head. It has a spur on its
>>end. Colour wise its sort of black with creamy, mottled markings, almost
>like a
>>donT geT senTimental. it always ends up dRRiveLLLL.  one day.   i am
>>goingtogrow wings.   a chemichal reaCtion. hysterical & useless. hysterical
>>&let down and hanging around. crushed like a bug in the ground.

Sheila Titchener
mail sheila at

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