What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar found in Hong Kong
Location: Shatin, Hong Kong
October 20, 2013 7:02 pm
Dear Bugman,
I saw this caterpillar crossing a path on my way to the station in Shatin, Hong Kong, It was in a wooded area, mid-October, about 8am. The caterpillar was about 3 inches long and moving quite fast. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks for your help!
Signature: Bridget

Unknown Hornworm

Unknown Hornworm

Dear Bridget,
The best we can do at this time is to provide you with a family identification.  This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  Our quick search did not produce any matching species images, and this is a very large family.  Perhaps one of our readers can provide something more specific.

Psilogramma increta identification courtesy of Bostjan
See Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic for additional information.  We love the piebald look of some individuals.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Shatin, Hong Kong
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2 Responses to Psilogramma increta Hornworm from Hong Kong

  1. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    Great picture of a fully grown Psilogramma increta (or eventually P. menephron, as the territories of these two species partially overlap) caterpillar on its pupating trip! This beautiful caterpillar is usually seen sitting on a twig, in its green colour with charasteristic brownish, white and yellow spots and lines, which can be very variable in every single individual, in size, amount and shape, but the species can be well recognized by its typical tubercles on the thorax, final claspers and the horn. It usually feeds on Bignoniaceae (trumpet trees and relatives, like eg. Spathodea campanulata (from Africa) or Campsis radicans (from America) or Oleaceae (eg. ash, olive tree and privet) – and, occasionally, on plants of many other families, not seldom preferring adventive ornamental species. It can be found in wide parts of both tropical and moderate eastern Asia; both species migrate, but the rhythm and purpose of their migrations, as well as the relationship and status of the single species and subspecies are not yet well known. The moth is of an elegant grey (with P. menephron being generally darker), with some yellow and bluish hair around the thorax, ressembling the Meganoton genus; it feeds in a hummingbird manner hovering above the flowers. Even the pupa is very elegant.

    Nice wishes from Berlin,
    Bostjan

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