CLOSED: Unknown buggie thingie

Merced, CA(Zone 9a)

I am not sure I have the correct terminology here, cocoon? Larvae? I found this in the compost tonight. It's soft (opposed to rigid/dead) and almost two inches long. One healthy sized puppy. Might anyone know:
1. What this is, or will be?
2. Bad guy or good guy?
3. If its a good guy, put him back outside in soft dirt?
Thank youuu!!!

Oh, we are in Merced, CA, zone 9, if that helps.

Thumbnail by ladyannne
St. John's, NL(Zone 5b)

It is the pupa of a moth, more than likely a noctuid moth, the brownish-grey ones that often buzz around the back door light. Their larvae are cutworms...nasty.

Mandeville, LA(Zone 9a)

I'm certainly no expert but I'll bet it's some type of moth pupae. If you google for images using the search phrase "moth pupae" you will get a lot of very similar pictures.

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

Looks like sphinx moth (hawkmoth) pupae, especially if they're 2 inches long. Good or bad depends on your point of view. It could be tomato hornworms or it could be another type of sphinx moth.

Thumbnail by TomH3787
in Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I learned somthing new today. Thanks,

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Wow! Thanks for the post and the answers. I learned something new, too. I'm glad I've been smashing their bodies all the while. We don't need more cutworms.

Lakewood, WA(Zone 8a)

I'm learning, too! Now I know I can kill them and know what I'm doing, except if they are large enough to be a sphinx moth, I would certainly protect it! They are just beautiful! I found the caterpillar to one last year on some Gaura. I was so excited I wanted to protect the thing so I brought it inside in a jar with the plant inside. It did well, but I felt bad for it being inside and didn't want to risk losing it, so I put it back on the gaura plant. The next day it was gone. Probably something ate it. I felt terrible because it was the coolest thing I've ever seen in my garden. I had named it 'Wormy'. I get teary eyed just remembering how I loved that caterpillar. And I've never even seen another one. Rats.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Now I'm feeling so guilty. If they're cutworms I don't want them but if they're beautiful moths I would. How do I decide?

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

pirl, would you cry more over the dead moth or the dead flowers? LOL

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

We find those in the garden sometimes. I took 5 into the garage and put them in a pot of dirt. They hatched and were sphinx moths, black with pink on the wings, big as bats but pretty!

Merced, CA(Zone 9a)

Thank you guys, ever so much. I looked up Hawk moth and sure enough. Guess he's bound for de dump de dump. (Can't squish it, nope) We have had a few Hummingbird moths before, wonder what their pupae (thank you, Todd and Tom!) looks like, off too Google land.

Lakewood, WA(Zone 8a)

Remember, size is everything in moth pupae land! LOL The little 1 inch ones cannot be sphinx moths. They have to be big enough to qualify for that. I've never seen a big one in my garden. Just Wormy. But I am glad to know that these moths have a chrysalis that I would not see hanging from a stem. Maybe he lived afterall.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

trackinsand: "Dead on target"

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