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Thread replies: 15
Thread images: 3

This is Larry. Im afraid he might be dying.

He is a moth caterpillar I found 3 days ago on the sidewalk and brought home. The first day I put him on a flowerpot and he has very active, would only stop moving whenever I touched him or picked him up. The second day he turned pale and hid under the shade. I went and brought back around 5 or 6 types of leaves from where I found him and put them in a bucket with him in my room, but he ate none, in addition to reacting aggresively whenerver I touched or moved him, retreating right back to the nearest shade. The third day, yesterday, he started to move less and less and turned paler still. Some people online assured me that he was molting and identified him as a fig sphinx, which brought some relief. But today Larry doesnt move at all on his own. I think he might still be alive because whenever I poke him his body twitches slightly, but you have to look very colsely to notice it, it might just be the way his corpse reacts to pressure but I want to remain optimistic. Before, the skin he is supposed to leave would bulge around his body, but now it seems to have dried and settled back in, maybe even rotting and giving him a brownish tone.

Does anyone know what to do? It makes me feel sick to think that he might be dying and I cant do anything about it.
Larry is kill
pic of larry when healthy
He's dying and is extremely emaciated. Thats what a caterpillar looks like then it starves to death.

Larry is dead. You should have left him alone.

Also they don't usually like being on the ground, you need branches, not just the leaves.
RIP Larry

How do I kill him without pain?
At this point that really doesn't matter. You already starved it for 3 days. Just smash it with a brick or set it outside and a burd will grab it. I'd go with burd desu senpai.
My advice to you as someone who has done this full time for years - don't. Leave him alone and see what happens. You don't want to make it messy, if he does pass on it'll be gentle. There's a chance he's pupating, but from the weird wrinkle texture it seems kind of unlikely. I'd still leave him alone to decide his own fate.

You could always try mashing up some fig and warm water and holding it to his mandibles so see if he'll take it, but sadly I think he's beyond that.

In future, make sure you get a solid ID on your caterpillar, and food for it, within 2 days or release it. It's good that you want to get involved with nature, but you have to do your research and get your bases covered when it comes to animal care because they are all you have.

That said, I'm surprised that a caterpillar got to that state from 3 days of not eating. Could be that something else is at play. Or it could be that he had gone some length of time without eating before you found him. *shrugs*

Really sorry for him and you... he's such a cute little fella.
might just be the pre pupal stage
just don't let him dry out and dom't put him in direct sunlight.

after a few days, he might molt into a pupa
forgot something

he was wandering around because he was looking for a place to burtow and pupate.

so what you see is definately the pre pupal stage.
as I said, don't touch him and don't let him dry out.
maybe cover the flowerpot with a wet towel. (sometimes take a peek at him)
after two weeks, remove the cover and you should see a pupae
File: convolvulus.png (3MB, 1632x1224px) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
3MB, 1632x1224px
I'm not 100% sure it is the prepupal stage, sick and starving caterpillars bunch up like that too - that wrinkled texture is super weird and it's odd that he never burrowed as most wandering-stage sphingids do, but I second this guy. Give him a light misting even and leave him be. Larry, not anon. Who knows, maybe pupating fig sphinxes just look gross as fuck for a few days. And again, a gentle passing is, IMO, probably preferable to a violent, messy, potentially painful one.

Just like to say another fuck you to that guy who admonished you for taking him home. Wanting to get involved in nature and care for animals is good, not bad, you just need to make sure you have your bases covered.

Pic related, it's a convolvulus caterpillar I found on the side of a road once and promptly kidnapped. Grew into a huuuge moth.
I´m not 100% sure either, but almost all species I have turn greenis brown right before they molt to pupae, these pupaes are light green to cream colored depending on species, until they harden.
So the sickly green color of the caterpillar might be just the pupae shining through the old skin.

Oh, and as for burrowing:
My Citheronia regalis almost never bury themselves, the just form a small pit in the ground.
Every Brahmaea species did this too.
And they are all species that usually burrow to pupate. Only my A. atropos ALWAYS pupate underground.

And yes, they all would be able to, bacause when the wandering phase begins, I put them in a container, with deep, light and lightly moist substrate.

But you are right, the "healthy larry" looked ready to pupate (but not very close to molt)

Also, you are right, you should only take an animal home, when you know how to care for it properly.
forgot something again:
You should be able to tell the difference if its alive or dead.
Also, if it turns black, It´s definately dead
I am sorry OP
Thread posts: 15
Thread images: 3

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