Subject: Arizona Cocoon bug
Location: Tucson AZ
February 19, 2013 5:21 pm
What’s it? I find some hanging in trees and some buried in the ground.
This is a Sphinx Moth Pupa from the genus Mandeca and we are guessing you found it in the vegetable patch near where tomato plants are grown. There are two species found in your area that feed on plants in the tomato family Solanacea. They are the Five Spotted Hawkmoth, Manduca quinquemaculatus, and the Carolina Sphinx, Manduca sexta. The Caterpillars, Pupae and adult moths are quite similar in both species. You may read more about the Carolina Sphinx on the Sphingidae of the Americas website, and you can find information on the Five Spotted Hawkmoth on the Sphingidae of the Americas webstie as well. We don’t know of any Sphinx Moths that have pupae that hang in trees, and we suspect that is an entirely different identification request.