The moth vibrated its wings briefly, and then took off. I ran after it.
It landed in my Black Olive Tree
I guess the camera flash bugged it, because it took off again and landed
on this drought damaged grass. Check out that face!
Here I left the Tersa Sphinx Moth in peace to continue sleeping the day away.
This site has photos of the beautiful caterpillars that become this
moth. I'm still looking for one to take a picture of to put here.
Little Update: Silly me! I had these
moth caterpillars in a potted plant on my porch! I wondered why my
Penta appeared to be dying and I
found these adorable caterpillars nibbling on it. They ate all of the
leaves, made their cocoons, and my plant is still growing happily in the
same pot in the same spot despite their visits.
Tersa Sphinx are the Peacocks of caterpillars; they have lots of
eyespots. Speaking of eyes, take a look at this caterpillar's head. It
has huge eyespots and a very big front, but look just above those tiny
feet and you'll see how very small its face is. I can't even see eyes on
a face that small without a magnifying glass.
Here's a view of the row
of eyespots that runs down each side of the caterpillar. In this photo
it's crawling across the palm of a hand (not mine, for a change.) This
is one BIG caterpillar! It's very soft and squishy.
I was sweeping some leaves out of a corner and noticed that a few stubbornly refused to budge. I'm glad I looked before I swept too firmly!
Look at what I found beneath the leaves:
Since I disturbed the caterpillar while it was making a cocoon, I gave
it a safe home in a bug box to finish the job in. Life got rather busy
so I don't have cocoon pictures of this particular moth to share, but
perhaps I'll get some this winter when they come back. When the moth
emerged, I let it go outside.