Hastily Clipping a Caterpillar

I did not mean to disturb my big, green friend. I was trying to prevent Mr. Flower from getting a head injury while mowing under the Vitex Agnus-Castus/Chaste tree. This tree is also called a butterfly tree. It has lovely purple blooms.

I rushed under the tree with my clippers. Mr. Flower complains if my plants interfere with mowers and air conditioning units. I have to be ever vigilant in my trimming.

I did not notice the big, green caterpillar until I was placing branches on the burn pile. It looked similar to the “tomato horn worms” I find every year, only it was larger, had fewer markings and was more of a wintergreen than a bright green.

Copper Underwing Moth Caterpillar/ Amphipyra pyramidea

I had to do some research to identify my new friend. It is a Copper Underwing Moth Caterpillar. I have never seen one before. I hoped I had not wiped out a rare insect with my hasty clipping.

I tried to remedy my wrong by placing the chopped branch back in the tree. Hours later the foundling was still stubbornly clinging to its dying branch. I was fearful that it would wither up and die with its perch.

After almost twenty-four hours of worry, I finally noticed it had moved onto a higher branch in the tree. What a relief!

Now I will watch and see if it is there to munch or go through metamorphosis.