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.


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. They are quite beautiful and I would not spray them as they cause little damage.

Topics: Flowers and Ornamentals Issues: Pests