Subject: Huge Orange Caterpillar
Location: Corning, New York
September 29, 2014 3:04 pm
My cat, Mr. Waffles, found this guy crawling around the gravel driveway. It looked like it was trying to burrow into the ground but it was all rocky there and couldn’t. I rubbed a leaf against it and it jumped and curled up and started to pulsate a little bit, like a defense mechanism. After a few seconds it uncurled and started to crawl away.
This Hornworm looks positively ripe, like a juicy piece of fruit, was the first thought in our mind when we saw your images. This Hornworm in the family Sphingidae is getting ready to pupate, so it has turned from green to those warm, glowing colors. We believe we have correctly identified your Hornworm as an Elm Sphinx, Sphinx chersis, thanks to the Sphingidae of the Americas site. We are going to write to Bill Oehlke to see if he can verify our identification.