Yoshi found the caterpillars in one of his bug reference books. It is an "Akebi Konoha" in Japanese, and its latin name is Adris tyrannus amurensis which apparently doesn't have a common name. "Adris" refers to vampires as it sucks fruit (ick!) and a name like "tyrannus" suits it too. This is the adult moth:-
I am sorry to say that as soon as it stops raining, I am going to spray them. It says it's a pest and is very common so I feel I'm not doing too much damage.
Interestingly enough, the books says they live on Akebi - which are known in English as Chocolate Vines, and yep, that's the plant it's chomping on! So I've learned something else about my garden today. Thanks, Yoshi!
First of all, this is a mystery plant I have in my garden, it's a perennial and flowers now, at the end of August and into September - does anyone have any idea of what it is?I found loads of these things on my plants today - I had an infestation of the same things a couple of years ago and they stripped this bush totally clean of leaves within a couple of days. I am going to have to spray them tomorrow, yuck, yuck!
What are they the caterpillars of? I think they might be a luna moth of some description but I am not sure. The ground under this bush is absolutely littered with poos from the caterpillars, each one the size of a Tic-Tac. The caterpillars themselves are at least as big as my thumb, maybe a bit bigger.
Chinese balloon flowers (Kikyu) I have single white ones, single blue ones, two single lavender ones and a double blue one.Ick, Ick, Ick, but on the other hand, aren't they beautiful? The blue bits on them are iridescent. I feel like a murderer planning to spray them but they did such serious damage before that one tree in the garden almost died.