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Welcome to My Little Garden

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
Gardening is part of my life and I want to share that portion of my zeal and joy with you. These are my thoughts, my experiences and life work. I hope it enrich and add value to you too.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Moth in the Garden

My mom passed me a caterpillar some weeks ago. 
It did grow big consuming most of the Madagascar Periwinkle leaves. And for a caterpillar of this species it did look interesting with two bold blue eyes looking marks on the body.
Taking care of this caterpillar was quite a challenge as getting the right container for it.

Earlier it was placed in a glass jar and somehow the moisture seemed to create an osmosis effect on the caterpillar body and it was getting bloated and sickly. (and stop eating)
 Immediately, it was removed and somehow it had slowly retain back its beautiful looking colour and start eating more leaves.

My wife was troubled to hear a funny shuttering sound early in the morning. It buzzed as she was preparing breakfast and was wondering what made the sound. 
(Yeah.. its feels like a little freaky when you don't get to identify the source of the sound) 
Then she found that it came from a cardboard box where this moth is all ready and set to go.

And so the Moth finally emerged today after these few weeks in the pupa form. It did took awhile and many many days of anticipation from both of my boys.

 My elderest one was a bit sceptical about handling this moth - perhaps the odd looking insect doesn't resemble the common butterfly appearance. He did mention though out of concern for his younger brother to have a look before setting this moth free. (before leaving to school early in the morning - before his brother woke up)

But the youngest one is far more adventurous. Full of anticipation and excitement that he got hold of his slippers quickly regardless whether they of the same type (I noticed it after taking the pictures)

I was amazed to find this moth quite tame and was easily to handle. It rest calmly upon my palm and my youngest one wanted to share the same experience.


I was worried that he might got panic and brush off the fragile insect. Or might get overly excited and pluck off the exotic looking wings. Rest assured he handled the moth with tender care & with all amazement studied this war patterned moth.

This moth is known as Oleander Sphinx Moth or Oleander Hawk-Moth (Daphis nerrii)

I guess it is something to remember about Halloween Day.
Not that we celebrate it but to those who do.. 
Have a nice trick or treat.


  1. Hi James, it surely is a very beautiful moth, and I am sure the kids will not forget that experience. That will make them more concerned about the environment and the little creatures. You should have included the photo of the caterpillar and the pupa, it is more informative for others too. I guess the parent is as excited as the sons, haha! Sorry it is a bit blurry too. I love that incident when you included the son in a hurry just took whatever slippers he got, unmindful of the mismatch. That is truly lovely for the kids.

    1. I wanted to take the pictures of the caterpillar & moth but really never manage to find the time.

      The pupa was somehow concealed together inside the box with some silk covered with it & I didn't want to disturb it - as not to endanger the butterfly.

      Im sorry for the quality of the pictures as they were taken not from my camera but from my mobile phone.

  2. Hello! It looks like an "army moth" to me with the color and pattern of its wings. Indeed an odd looking one as well. Nice to see lots of those little gentle, quiet creatures in our gardens. Smart kids you have!

    1. Indeed an army moth & a odd looking one as you mentioned.
      Nice to see them around the garden.

  3. Hi James, I actually have images of a similiar moth in my digital archive. I thought I'll post it when I get its ID. Now that you have provided it, I will publish the post soon. Thanks.

  4. What an amazing creature! Larry

  5. Wow! We have a very close relative to that moth here in Texas. I'm glad your family got to share this experience. It is one of my favorite moths since most are small and have a drab, brown appearance.
    Nice photos of your son. He looks like he has found a new friend.
    Yes, Happy Halloween!

  6. What a beautiful moth! Moths are so underrated, but they are the butterflies of the night :-)
    Congratulations on raising this Beauty from caterpillar to adult.

  7. Hi James, I am pleased to nominate you for a Beautiful Blogger Award because I just love reading your blog! To accept all you have to do is tell us 7 things about yourself and nominate 15 other bloggers. You can find the BBA thumbnail on my blog for posting it on yours. Regards, STilleTTo

  8. This is one of the more beautiful moths. I had a couple in my garden a few years but I didn't photographed it! Never encountered it again despite having the caterpillars every year. Funny how the caterpillars can eat those poisonous periwinkle leaves. I wonder which predator eats the caterpillar who will be filled with poison!

  9. Hi James, thanks for show, these moths are not seen by the color scheme here is amazing, your child is happy.

  10. Thanks everyone for your lovely comment.

  11. What a lovely experience with this colourful moth being nursed to an adult, James. Your kids seemed terribly exited, being able to hold them in their palms.
    I had a similar years ago when it decided to appear on our croton plant. If interested, you can read about it at my article: http://www.jaycjayc.com/daphnis-nerii-oleander-hawkmoth/


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