This afternoon as I headed out with hammer and nails in hand to try and rig up some way to keep a tripod trellis from continuing to tip over at the slightest breeze, I was stepping carefully as always when I noted this behemoth, triggering
my engagement in both startle tendencies at once. After I gathered my wits (and the nails) I more carefully placed the hammer to give you a sense of the scale of this monster.I then
When I pointed out said beast to the Hub he opined it was a bad player in the garden, based upon size and the speed with which it was munching before our very eyes. He stated it would probably attack the tomatoes next.
Fist to skies, "noooooooo!"Because I am so contrary I immediately leapt to the creatures' defense, even though looking at it was creeping me out, and pressed him for specifics. Did he really know this to be a bad guy in the garden? No he admitted. But he advised capturing the two (I'd spotted another close by the first) at the very least if I wasn't going to kill it outright so I could try to determine what it was rather than unleashing it our unsuspecting plants.
He may have had a point. When I was showing ChefSon around the pepper plants last night we both noted the Hungarian Wax Pepperlooked to have been attacked by a deer, only it is in the back yard where deer can't freelance landscape the plant tops.
As I took a closer look around today, I spotted this so far slightly smaller third version of Gargantua, happily munching away on another pepper plant. Was this the Hungarian Pepper Plant murderer as well? Judging by the hasty retreat he beat when my shadow loomed overhead I say yes. Guilty is as guilty does.Trying to be karmically groovy (no easy task for a dedicated carnivore) I "relocated" the smaller of the three 'pillar pests to another area where it will have more choices that are not baby pepper plants, or hopefully tomatoes, either one.As if I can corral these busily munching bugs anyway.
I will try to identify these guys with the idea that the next time I spot any I'll at least know what response is warranted. But. I suck at bug identification so I'll throw out a big SOS here and now.
How about it? Do you know what these monsters are? Feel free to educate me in the comments section. I don't want to rob the world of a gorgeous butterfly to be but I also don't want to be feeding them expensive pepper plants, either. Or our tomatoes.
Update: Damn it! I discovered these guys are Larvae for the White Lined Spinx moths, (Hyles lineata lineata ). They are highly varied and feed on a great diversity of plants including willow weed (Epilobium), four o'clock (Mirabilis), apple (Malus), evening primrose (Oenothera), elm (Ulmus), grape (Vitis), tomato (Lycopersicon), purslane (Portulaca), and Fuschia. Tomato! Crap! I will relocate these guys (if I can find them again) out front where there is a patch of four o'clocks and call it a day. Sigh... I only found one - the mid size model, leaving the giganto stretch and smaller sporty sedan sized eating machines out way too close to my tomato plants for comfort. But I know who they are now and will not hesitate to capture and relocate them if they show up again. I just hope they only feed during daylight hours. Yikes.