I recently couldn’t help but notice that one of the shrubs in our back garden had been reduced from something like this:
I thought that my mind had wondered while spraying for weeds a few days prior, and I’d accidentally killed most of it. However, while out watering I noticed something about the size of my little finger clinging to the side of one of the newly bare stems.
It’s the caterpillar of an Io moth. I was fascinated by the spines (which are actually poisonous, but not greatly) and the brown and white stripe running along the length of the caterpillar. Luckily it was early enough in the morning and wasn’t in a rush for work, so unpacked the monopod and macro lens and set to taking some shots. It ate most of the shrub, the least it could do was pose for me.
A few more shots can be found here.
The interesting part is that I currently don’t know where it is. I did see it on an adjoining shrub at one point, although it hasn’t left a trail of destruction. My only guess is that it has made a cocoon down near the base of the new shrub. I’m sort of hoping it is a male, as it will fly away to try and find a mate and then I won’t have to kill offspring. The female however tends to remain in place, waiting for a male to arrive (in moth form life lasts for only a day, so things have to happen fairly quickly), and that means things could get messy when I bring out the killing spray. But I’ll try and get some more photos first.