Wildlife Wednesdays: Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth

A few weeks ago I went into my yard to find my potted grapes decimated and some caterpillars happily munching on the few scraps of leaves that were left. The caterpillars looked so much like tomato hornworms that I put them in a container with some leftover tomatoes with the intention of showing my kids when they got home from summer camp.

But all through the day, it kept bothering me; the caterpillars were smaller than tomato hornworms and what were they doing eating grape leaves? A little research later and I had my answer; they were not tomato hornworms, they were Virginia creeper sphinx moth caterpillars (Darapsa Myron). It turns out they LOVE grape leaves!

So my kids and I set our caterpillars up in our butterfly keeper and fed them leaves until they turned into cocoons. About two weeks later, out popped our beautiful moths. What a cool find and what a cool summer science activity for my kids. And, by the way, my grape plant is getting new leaves.

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