I've been enjoying my pentas this year. Massive butterfly attractors, these plants grew back wonderfully from the plants I put in last year. They also do well from cuttings. Penta cuttings seem to be sensitive to humidity and do not like to dry out. I added several to my propagation station, a large clear plastic tub that creates a high humidity environment for my new cuttings. Yesterday, when checking on these plants, I found this:
It did not go into the tub this way. There were plenty of leaves when I cut it. I've seen this sort of thing before. After checking the rest of tub for the culprit, I felt it before I saw it:
|Tersa Sphinx Hummingbird Moth|
There he is! I did some research this year and found out it is a Tersa Sphinx Hummingbird Moth caterpillar, also known as a hornworm. Here are some good sites for more info: Hornworm and Hummingbird Moths. While this little guy is no longer with us, they are pretty harmless, excluding their taste for penta salad. I'll have to keep an eye on the rest of the pentas to make sure there aren't any others hiding out.