Elephant hawk moth on my fuchsias again

 Two years ago I found this fellow on one of our fuchsias . . .

Adult elephant hawk moth on a fuchsia
Adult elephant hawk moth on a fuchsia

This year we found this chap (or lady) on a different fuchisa bush . . .

Elephant hawk moth caterpillar eating fuchsia leaves
Elephant hawk moth caterpillar eating fuchsia leaves

This bears out what the books say about elephant hawk moths liking fuchsias . . .

Elephant hawk moth caterpillar eating fuchsia leaves
These fuchsia leaves are tasty!

He was still chomping away a few days later . . .

Elephant hawk moth caterpillar eating fuchsia leaves
This elephant hawk moth caterpillar has a hearty appetite for fuchsia leaves

. . . so perhaps next summer we’ll see him as an adult?

46 thoughts on “Elephant hawk moth on my fuchsias again”

  1. We have found 3 in the garden this morning alone. They are really horrible. How do we get rid of them? Currently my kids are throwing them over the hedge!!!! sorry neighbours….

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  2. I cannot understand why you would want to get rid of them in the first place! I first saw one of the E.H.Moth caterpillars this year and i was stunned by there beauty, they are marvelous insects, you should count yourself lucky that you get to expierience so many of them, if i lived nextdoor to you i would quiet happelly take them of your hands and put them into my garden and look after them all, and when they have done pupating and turn into adult moths you get to see the real beauty, theres no need to kill them there quiet rare and not very common in most gardens, so please don’t throw them around and think nothing of them, learn more about the whole cycle of moths especially E.H.Moths and you will begin to enjoy them.

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  3. Thank you for your information above, I found 5 elephant hawk moths on my fuschia bush, or should I say our dog did. I have never seen these caterpillars before let alone the moth that laid her eggs. I feel very honoured that she chose our garden. I checked this morning and they are happy munching away.

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    • They are quite remarkable. I wondered what is was the first time I saw one. Our youngest dog kept bringing in a caterpillar and we had to rescue it and put it outside again.

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  4. we found at least six chomping away on fushias so big they frighteng my dog! had to remove them an put in hegdes

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  5. I have two elephant hawk caterpilllars living on one of my fushias. I have lots of fushias in my garden but only one has the caterpllars
    I live in Ottershaw Surrey

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  6. I have found an elephant hawk moth on my fushia but would like to see him or her grow, what shall i do can i keep him indoors in a butterfly house ??

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  7. Tragic that the first thing so many people think of is how to get rid of anything which is out of the ordinary. These (and all moths) are glorious creatures – learn to appreciate the natural world and wonder at it.

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    • And we are losing species of moths and butterflies all the time. They are are indeed glorious and we should appreciate them.

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  8. I found one of the huge elephant hawk moth caterpillars a few weeks back, having read what they eat I am surprised as we have no Fuschias!!! Fantastic creature that the cat thought was fascinating and so did my son…till it crawled on his hand!!

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    • I think fuchsias are their favourites but think they can eat other plants. They are fascinating though. Hope your son was not too frightened. We used to have to rescue them from our youngest dog who treated them like pets.

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  9. What an amazing looking caterpillar! Markings like a snakes head and quite huge. So pleased to identify it via your website and others comments. My one is eating the flowers and so far not touching the leaves. Wonder how it will overwinter when the plant dies back?

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    • Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure where ours overwinter. I haven’t seen any moths this year yet so hope they survived from last year.

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  10. i found an EHM caterpillar thought i would watch him transform, so i bought him a big tupperware box, put in holes but i am worried im doing more harm than good. can you recommend a webiste for the life cycle of EHM becuse i have read different thingsbut nosn specific to EHM

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  11. My husband and I have fuchsias in our garden and we have just found our first elephant hawk caterpillar. What a beauty!!! I went straight onto the internet to find out what it was called. I put in “caterpillars that eat fuchsias” and they came up. I can’t believe what we have found. Can’t wait to see it turn into a moth, it must be a sight, I bet we miss it.

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  12. We have had fuchsias in our garden for over 20 years and this is the first time I have seen a E.H. moth. It was quite a sight to see, so big. We didn’t know what it was at first until I checked it out on the web. We feel so privileged to have one in our garden. Its so beautiful.

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  13. I found one on the 10/ 10/2010 first i have seen ,but never seen it as
    full grown moth ,a really stunning creature.

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  14. we found an EH caterpillar trying to cross the road off our drive i not knowing what it was picked it up and brought it in the garden then saw the horn on its back and nearly died i know not to touch spikey thingy caterpillars so i put it in a butterfly container for the kids to watch came on internet and he/she has pupated but i found it in july (in nottingham)and i wondered if that means it will emerge before june as i know they last that long over winter ??? has anyone else in the midlands got info thanks

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  15. well i found a EHc caterpillar at my work and took it home as they wanted to depose of it,i’ve kept in a large tub with a few twigs and i think he’s started to pupated.

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  16. Definitely what I found 2 of on my small, almost denuded, trailing fuchsias in my Bedfordshire garden.

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  17. Found two elephant Hawks in our garden in Exeter thought we had aleins lol Graham Davis Exeter

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  18. Found 2 of these caterpillars on my fuchsias at the weekend, photographed them as I thought they were so lovely – went back next day to look for them but – no sign, so disappointed, hope they are still in the garden somewhere.

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  19. Sandy
    Have 7 E H caterpillars on fuchsias in garden they never stop eating, have never seen them before had to go to Internet to find out about them, how long is it before they turn into moths ?
    Northampton

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    • It will probably be next May that they appear. Although our fuchsia hedge is massive, we haven’t seen any for a year or two. Hoping they will return

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  20. have just seen my first E H caterpillar WOW they are fantastic, had to take pictures to find out what it was…..I don’t have fuchsias it was on the gravel, we are in Chester

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  21. I live on the isle of Wight just found one on my fuchsia can’t see any more. Thanks to your website I now know what it is and I shall leave it alone and hope it survives the winter. Wonderful creature.

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  22. Hi! Our amazing EH caterpillar was found in Sept and after being popped in a butterfly habitat hanging net indoors, last night it emerged! Absolutely stunning. Concerned tho since it’s only Feb and so all it’s natural food of choice like Honeysuckle is nowhere to be seen. Any advice please to help it survive?! Would a sugar solution nectar substitute in it’s habitat suffice? Many thanks.

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  23. Are they poisonous to cat’s, I have them in my garden (fuchsia) they are more than welcome to stay but my cat brought me two home one had been slightly chewed and just wondering if ill be looking at a vet bill!

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  24. Have grown fuchsias for years but this year they are superb. However I have found seven EH caterpillars. They certainly change the look of the fuchsias they are chewing but I have decided to leave them alone much to my wife’s horror who wanted me to exterminate immediately. However even she has become amazed at their size and the way they move and they do not appear to come indoors. So I think they are reprieved for the time being.

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    • Don’t harm them. The moths are beautiful, but you won’t see them until next year. They don’t seem to do any harm and overwinter underground. We haven’t had any for a few years now. Our fuchsias are doing well this year too and I hope to see some again.

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