Is the catapiller eating my gardenia a Butterfly or Moth?

We have 2 gardenia bushes but only one gets attacked by caterpillers. The caterpiller has an orange head and orange tail. I don't want to spray them incase they become butterflies. I can never find any cocoons either.

yates

25 December 2011 11:41 PM

Hi Karen,

The hawk moth caterpillar is found on gardenias. Generally there is only one caterpillar per bush and they do not do too much damage. I have attached a link to the Australian Museum which shows the life cycle of various hawk moths. They usually fly at night and so are not commonly seen during the daylight hours. http://australianmuseum.net.au/Hawk-Moths They are quite beautiful and I would not spray them as they cause little damage.

Topics: Flowers and Ornamentals Issues: Pests