A pine-tree-loving sphinx caterpillar?
Just found your site today–it’s brilliant! This little guy came down with a bunch of pine branches courtesy of tropical storm Fay when it swept past Jacksonville, Florida. After glancing through your caterpillar pages, I’d guess it’s some sort of sphinx caterpillar. We have lots of lantana in our yard so we see quite a few butterflies and moths– wonder if this guy likes lantana, too. Do you recognize him? Thanks for your help.
Your caterpillar is a Southern Pine Sphinx, Lapara coniferarum. According to Bill Oehlke’s wonderful website, “Larvae feed upon various pine species, including loblolly pine ( Pinus taeda ) and longleaf pine ( P. pinaster )” but there is no mention of lantana. As Sphinx caterpillars go, the Southern Pine Sphinx is unusual in that it is lacking in the caudal horn.