Subject: Unknown Caterpillar
Location: Tampa, Florida
January 22, 2013 1:35 pm
I am trying to upload of a picture of a cool caterpillar that my friend took to a website called iNaturalists. I need to be able to identify it. I can not seem to find anything that looks remotely similar except swallowtail. If you could help me identify this bug I would be forever grateful.
Signature: Matthew Butner
Initially we thought this was a caterpillar of a Tersa Sphinx, but it was odd that the row of eyespots typically found along the body was absent. As we did additional research, we realized this is most likely a closely related species in the same genus, the Pluto Sphinx, Xylophanes pluto. You can see a similar looking caterpillar on BugGuide. Also according to BugGuide: “Larvae feed on Milkberry (Chiococca species), Hamelia patens, and Erythroxylon species.”