My Elephant Hawk Moth has hatched.....sort of

I found this Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar in the summer whilst strimming my mother in law's garden. I decided to keep it as we'd destroyed it's habitat and to hopefully show the kids a beautiful moth.

I found some info on a few blogs and kept it in some dried willow-herb until it pupated a few days later.

I've been keeping it in my garage in a biscuit tin, and transferred the chrysalis to a butterfly house a few weeks ago, and have been checking it every day since.

This evening, I've just been in to check and found this....

Amblyjoppa Proteus

Not quite what I was hoping for but pretty interesting all the same. It's huge - 23mm not including the antennae.

It's obviously a parasitic wasp of some type, I'm assuming the caterpillar must have already been infected when I found it. The closest ID I've found so far is amblyjoppa proteus as this seems to be the only Ichneumoninae wasp that parsitises elephant hawk moth. I'll try and find an appropriate forum to post photos on to find out what it is for sure. I'm still trying to decide what or if to tell the kids!

Damian P

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