The title refers to the wonderful children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle which generations of children (including mine) have grown up with as a favorite book.
After hours of research, I found out that these fascinating little critters, which are decimating my rose leaves, are not caterpillars at all! They are Large Rose Sawflies (Arge pagana) larvae which when they mature, instead of a pretty butterfly, they end up looking like this:
(photo courtesy of this article)
Ewww! However they are still quite fascinating at the larvae stage. Here are a few more shots of them (the green ones on the second shot are the very young ones)…
These were shot in my garden (Milton Keynes, UK). In terms of actual size, this larvae is about 1.5cm long and about 3mm wide.
[Sony a350, Sigma 105mm macro, Minolta 3600HS flash (off camera), f:10, 1/125sec, ISO-100].