What is this caterpillar
August 24, 2009
I live in Western Newfoundland. My grandson found the attached caterpillar in his back garden. what abeauty…The “horn” is at the back end. I put is in a container and addedafew shrub leaves which is quickley began to feed on. I’ve since given it its freedom (I may be sorry :O)
Wetsern Newfoundland, Canada
This beautiful caterpillar is a Laurel Sphinx, Sphinx kalmiae. We quickly located it on Bill Oehlke’s awesome website.
Thank you for your prompt reply and interesting literature. It certainly is a very beautiful creature. I’m in deep trouble with my wife if it decides to breed in the garden – we have Lilac L
Hi again Keith,
WE will try to get you off the hook in the interest of preserving your marital bliss. Though a large Sphinx Caterpillar can consume a considerable quantity of leaves, this does not do lasting damage to the plant. By the time your Sphinx Caterpillars appear in a given year, the lilacs have finished blooming. We doubt that there would ever be more than a few Laurel Sphinx Caterpillars on a given lilac. Some moths lay all their eggs in one location, but Sphinx Moths tend to be more selective, and place single eggs on distant leaves.