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What Is It??!!

John Garrett sent in these photos of this creature found in his garden recently. It is about 3 inches long and just over half an inch round. It has markings on the sides of its head that appear to be two sets of eyes. However the real eyes appear to be at the front. It has three (?) sets of raspers just under its head and the body seems to be furry.

This unusual looking caterpillar is an Elephant Hawk Moth. This little fella has an interesting defence mechanism. When threatened it pulls in its snout so that eye spots swell up and seem bigger. It then sways from side to side like a miniature snake.

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