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3071 Views 3 Replies Last post: Mar 12, 2013 4:25 PM by Ivan RSS
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Feb 4, 2013 2:22 PM

Elephant hawk moth larvae

Why do elephant hawk moth caterpillars start off green and then change colour to black and some stay green. ( never saw a big green one but I've seen the pictures.)


I've raised two one was found almost ready to pupate and the other was smaller and still green however it moulted and changed colour overnight.


Thank you in advance.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 12, 2013 3:19 PM (in response to Ivan)
    Re: Elephant hawk moth larvae

    As you say they start off green and usually turn brown in the third instar (third larval moult) - I assume there must be advantage to being green in the early instars and equally to being brown in the later instars. In my experience they are always surprisingly difficult to spot for such large caterpillars - its usually the frass (poo) that gives them away. A small percentage remain green of course, but like you I have never come across one, nor have a reared one - but they are out there.

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