What the heck is this?

The beast larva!

Abigail and I were harvesting the potatoes the other day and I dug this up…at least I think I dug it up.  Anyhow, it ended up in the pile of dirt from which we were picking potatoes.  At the top it seemed like a cocoon but it was very much larva-like at the bottom.  I guess it was a moth or butterfly larva weaving its cocoon but I do not know what type.
A mystery larva

That crazy thing was wiggling around and really freaking the kids out ( I, of course, was quite brave and unmoved by its actions).  It was several inches long and full of ugly.  I decided to just put it back in the dirt and hope for the best.


We are pretty fond of butterflies but I have sort of mixed reactions to moths…due to a bad experience with wax moths and my stored honey supers…I still can hardly talk about it!

Anyhow, we had a pretty good haul of potatoes and the kids were absolutely fantastic at helping me harvest them. I have never seen them work so hard as they did then.

8 thoughts on “What the heck is this?

  1. Wow, that is a weird looking critter!

    You got a lot of potatoes! I’m hoping to greatly expand our potato patch next year… I already ate all of mine. 🙂


  2. Once when I was teaching 2nd grade we had them split open old logs with hammers to look at the insects, worms, etc. inside. We found the exact creature you are shown holding, plus another one that was completely white. Both were moving around a lot. I kept my cool, held it, etc, not wanting the kids to get that “girls don’t touch things like that” attitude! But it was plenty gross. Our guess was also that it was a moth.

  3. I surely wish I had kept it so we could watch it progress and hatch. I was deep in potato harvest and it didn’t occur to me that we could do a little science on the side. I would love to know what it was. Next time…

  4. It’s a larva/cocoon of some sort. I’ve found similar ones in my flower beds! We always have intentions of keeping them, but somehow never do.

    And what a haul of potato’s! Those will come in handy, good eating 🙂

  5. I just found one of these! I Googled it and you are the only info. I found on this weird creature.I put it in a pot with dirt, because like you I found it while digging in the dirt.I was actually digging in my yard under a hibiscus tree, so I am not sure if it was in the dirt where I was digging, or if it fell there. It is strange. It kind of resembles a flower bud, but it wiggles…ewww! I will take pictures and keep your family posted on what turns up.

  6. Danielle-
    Please do keep us up to date on what happens with your creature. If you can send some pics I will update this post with more info for the next person who finds a similar mystery thing!

  7. I recently found one too and your picture popped up on a google search. Another site said it might be a hornworm. I found ours in our high tunnel which was loaded with tomato hornworm last summer. Tried to keep one alive last year as well but no luck. They are huge and the kids I work with said it looked like an alien when it wiggled. Happy gardening!

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