Currently viewing the category: "Hornworms"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth caterpillar
Location: France, haute Pyrenees
October 1, 2015 9:37 am
Hi my friend in the south of France (haute Pyrenees) found this and we wondered what type of moth it is.
Signature: Bug ID

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

This Hornworm is the caterpillar of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos, a distinctive species featured in the artwork associated with the book and movie The Silence of the Lambs.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cute bug
Location: Madeira Ialands (porto Santo)
September 27, 2015 5:33 am
Here is a photo of a large caterpillar bug found in the madeira islands. It’s easily the size of a large finger with cute markings. awww :)
I know its probably the caterpillar of a hawk moth, but which one? I would appreciate any more information you might have..
Signature: Thanks


Hornworm of the Vine Hawkmoth

We agree that this is a Hornworm, but we haven’t had much luck verifying the species.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide additional information.

Correction:  A reader provided a comment indicating that this is the caterpillar of a Vine Hawkmoth, and Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic confirms that identification.

Cindie Lonergan, Ann Levitsky, Veikko Juhani Loponen liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
September 24, 2015 3:38 pm
Found this big ol guy crossing the street headed to our pond. Can’t seem to figure out what he is!
Signature: The Castro Family

Banded Sphinx Caterpillar

Banded Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Castro Family,
This magnificent caterpillar is a Banded Sphinx Caterpillar,
Eumorpha fasciatus, and you can compare your individual to this image from BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on Evening Primrose, Oenothera species, Water Primrose, Ludwigia species, and other related plants (Onagraceae).”  Most Sphinx Moth caterpillars pupate underground, and we suspect this large individual stopped feeding and was looking for a good location to dig underground to commence metamorphosis.  This is such a great image illustrating a child’s wonder with the natural world that we have decided to feature your submission.

Thanks for the help!! We spent a Looooooooong time researching and couldn’t find  out what it was!! Interesting that it feeds on water plants! No wonder it was by our pond!!
That’s so cool you’re going to feature our photo! Where can we see it? On your website?
Thanks again for the help! We can complete our nature journal entry! :)
Heidi E Castro

Christy Harris, Team Castro Racing, Kimberly Wochele, Jamie Wise, Ann Levitsky, Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Astrid Bremstaller, Heather Duggan-Christensen, Alex Raplee liked this post
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Subject: Dark Hornworm
Location: Lake Ann Michigan
September 9, 2015 1:16 pm
Found both the normal green hornworm and the almost black one on 8/17/14 just 3 miles south of the Village of Lake Ann, Michigan. zip code 49643.
The darker one was much more aggresive, vibrated and emitted an odd noise when handled even slightly.
Found a total of 4 that year.
Signature: Bryan Black

Tobacco Hornworms:  Dark and Light Morphs

Dark Tomato Hornworm and Tobacco Hornworm

Dear Bryan,
Though they were both probably feeding on Tomato Plants, your two Hornworms represent different species in the same genus.  The dark Hornworm is a dark morph of a Tomato Hornworm,
Manduca quinquemaculatus, and the green Hornworm is a Tobacco Hornworm, Manduca sexta.  It is very curious that the Tomato Hornworm was the more aggressive of the two.

Ann Levitsky, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Tynisha Koenigsaecker, Corey Gail Jones, Annette Hollenbush liked this post
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Subject: Is this a momma with her babies?
Location: Holly Springs, MS.
September 6, 2015 6:36 pm
Hi Bugman!
I saw these little white “things” on my boxwood bush and thought for a split second something had flowered. Upon closer inspection this was a large green caterpillar with a serious looking spike on its tail. I wondered if these are babies attached to her? She was VERY AGGRESSIVE when I tried to handle her. I carefully placed her back on the bush after these pics!
Signature: Stephanie Berry (former bug queen of the day)

Hornworm Parasitized by Braconids

Hornworm Parasitized by Braconids

Dear Stephanie,
Your caterpillar is a Hornworm in the family Sphingidae, and as the caterpillar is a larva, it is not able to reproduce until it becomes a winged adult moth.  This Hornworm has been parasitized by a Braconid Wasp, and the white “things” are the wasp pupae.  The larval Braconid Wasps have been internally feeding on the Hornworm, which is eaten alive.  The adult Braconid Wasps will soon emerge and the Hornworm will die before becoming an adult.  We have not been able to identify the species of Hornworm and we cannot find any information on Hornworms feeding on Boxwood.

Thank you for all the wonderful information!  That’s so sad that the caterpillar was being eaten alive :(
I’ve lived here almost 13 years and this is the first time I’ve seen one of these.
Thank you for all you do!!

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Subject: Caterpillars!
Location: Benson, North Carolina
September 5, 2015 8:25 am
Dear Bugman,
I think I have an idea of what this caterpillar is but what I have a question about is what kind of plant its on and what the possibility is of other plants like it being around here. Your response will be very well appreciated.
Signature: Cory

Tersa Hornworm

Tersa Hornworm

Dear Cory,
You stated that you “have an idea of what this caterpillar is” though you did not provide that identification.  Your images show both green and brown color variations of the Tersa Sphinx Hornworms, and according to BugGuide, they feed upon:  “Madder Family, Rubiaceae, including Smooth buttonplant (
Spermacoce glabra), starclusters (Pentas species), Borreria, Manettia; and Bignoniaceae: Catalpa. Also noted, in North Carolina, from Virginia Buttonweed, Diodia virginiana, also in the Rubiaceae.”  Though we are not “What’s That Plant?” we believe they are feeding on Virginia Buttonweed based on the images posted to Backyard Nature.

Tersa Hornworms

Tersa Hornworms

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination