Sunday, February 20, 2011

Frangipani Worms

Hi! Thanks for all the questions..Ava and I are all current on our Frangipani Worm facts!

The frangipani worm or frangipani hornworm are common in the Caribbean and West Indies and range to South Florida.  Their colorings supposedly mimic the coral snake to warn off predators!   Our friend Rick is interested in them as a possible source of anti-cancer drugs because they eat toxic plants and accumulate the toxins in their bodies.  Gardeners hate them because they can strip the leaves right off the beautiful plants they live on.  Ava and I observed this ourselves, and that they POOP a LOT!

From the internet: "Upon emerging from the pupae, the Frangipani worm becomes the Tetrio or Giant Gray Sphinx moth.  Females, larger than their male counterparts, have wingspans of over five inches. 

Not particularly attracted to light as most moths, the Giant Gray Sphinx moth feeds upon nectar.  Due to their long, needle-like proboscis and the way they hover and dart about when feeding from a flower, they are sometimes mistaken for hummingbirds." 

Our cocoon is under a leaf in the bottom of a plastic bucket on the porch.  We check it every day, not sure how long the metamorphosis takes.