Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Just found this fellow in the garden. Thought it was elephant hawk moth.If anyone would like it or could advice what to do with it i would be grateful for response
Mick Sharpe


Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Hi Mike
Pop it into a decent sized plastic tub with around 4/5 inches of peat compost (make sure this does not contain insecticide as some do) Add a few Rosebay Willowherb leaves and leave the tub in a cool shed or outhouse. The cat was probably looking for a pupation site when you found it. It might feed up for a few more days or it might burrow under the peat right away. When it disappears clear out the leaves and leave it alone for around 6 weeks. You can then either take the now hardened pupa from the soil and store it in a smaller container on some kitchen role (this is what I do) or leave it in the soil in a cold place that is frost free over winter.

Next May (when depends on the weather next year) pop the pupa onto some clean dry kitchen roll in a largish container with several twigs stood upright (dry florists Oasis is perfect the stick the twigs in. Leave the container in the cool storage place and check daily for the moth to have emerged and climbed a twig to inflate and dry its wings. You must release the adult the day it emerges or it will fly around and batter its wings in the container the first night after it emerges.

To find these large cats:
Go to a patch of Rosebay late afternoon or evening when the sun is shining. Kneel down on the outside of the patch looking upwards through the patch of Rosebay towards the sun. If any are on that patch you will spot them as a silhouette hanging on the plant. For some reason they seem to like to sunbathe in the late afternoon sun, probably to speed up their development. This is an infallible way to find the cats on just about any patch of Rosebay

Mick and Kath Sharpe said...

Hi Paul
Many thanks for all the information as I was at a total loss.Fortunately Steve Cummins came down and has adopted it for himself.Hopefully he might let me see a picture of the new born next year.
Thanks once again Paul

TheBaldIbis said...

Cheers for the cat Mick n Kath. And cheers for the "recipe" Paul. At the moment, it is munching on Fuschia but looks like it's slowing down. I guess it will be pupating soonish, so I'll get some compost in there.
My Eggar cats became sluggish prior to pupating in the heather. I had some moss and ericaceous compost in the tub but they seemed to prefer the heather. Andys Fox moth cats are still feeding up. I've just given them a fresh bucket of heather.....hungry little devils.