sphinx pupae

Tony Stauber cedric at qatar.net.qa
Sun May 31 18:40:24 EDT 1998

In article <356EFB8B.1108 at inovion.com>,
 George Andrushko <andrushk at inovion.com> wrote:
>... This is concerning the sphinx pupae, how do they escape from
> their hard packed earth chamber, buried some 4 to 5 inches below the
> surface. It may seem a rediculus question, but when you think about it,
> it would be nice to know. The known fact is that they do escape.
I'm also mystified, but I'd also like to know how the caterpillars dig
themselves down so far. I suspect the 'tunnel' the caterpillars make,
although it falls in as they go, remains loose enough for them to push back
up, but after a heavy shower of rain, or heavy watering which happens here,
I'm not sure this would be the case.
> I did happen to find a perfectly viable pupa natrally on the surface one
> time and am thinking that they wiggle out of the dirt before they
I've frequently come across this in our garden here where there's an almost
constant supply of Deaths Head and Oleander Hawks. But we've got six cats
who spend a fair bit of time digging quite deep holes to poo in... I
suspect they are to blame for the unearthed pupae.. perhaps it's a sort of
symbiotic arrangement.. You know... 'You dig me up and I'll give you a
chance at catching me once my wings are dry..'

Which reminds me of the biggest mystery of all. I often hatch out rescued
Deaths Head pupae here. After an initial sqwauk when I pick them up, they
accept to be carried out into the garden on my hand, and then, after half a
minute's warm up, they taxi to the end of a finger and shoot off into the
night, often returning almost immediately to 'buzz' me before disappearing.
How on earth can a creature that's just crawled out of the ground and grown
a pair of wings fly like that??
It makes me feel very, very inferior!



Tony Stauber: mailto cedric at qatar.net.qa

Language Teaching Institute, Box 3224, Doha, Qatar, Arabian Gulf

More information about the Leps-l mailing list