Back to Page 1 Tersa Sphinx Moth Page 2
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!
Tersa Sphinx Moth
Tersa Sphinx Moth
Tersa Sphinx Moth
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 Moth
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.

Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar, top view showing two rows of eyespots
Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar, side view showing one row of eyespots and soft pointy end
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:
Tersa Sphinx Moth caterpillar in danger of being swept away by a broom
Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar making a cocoon under a few leaves it's glued together for shelter
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.
Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar making a cocoon
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