This magnificent Death’s Head Hawkmoth caterpillar was found by Glenys Phillips and her granddaughter, Emily, in their Cornish garden.
Following recent sightings received from the Provence in France and Norfolk in the UK a Death’s Head caterpillar in my home county of Cornwall was a photographic opportunity not to be missed.
Other caterpillars are featured in the Moth caterpillar galleries and Butterfly caterpillar galleries and species pages.
Interestingly this one was feeding on the leaves of a spindle tree.
In the Uk organically grown potato crops have always been considered to be the main caterpillar foodplant for this scarce migrant species.
However, in recent years, its surprising how many other foodplants the caterpillars have been recorded feeding on in UK gardens.
In warmer parts of southern Europe, where the species is relatively common, the caterpillars have been recorded feeding on a much wider range of foodplants.
Thanks to Glen and Emily for giving me the opportunity to photograph the largest caterpillar likely to be seen in Europe.
Also thanks for the sightings shown below from Toni Dundas in Norfolk and A. Neeteson in Provence, France.
More Death’s Head Hawkmoth sightings and information can be found on the species page.