Currently viewing the category: "Hornworms"
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Subject: unidentified larvale!
Location: 42 North 15 East Italy
November 7, 2014 1:22 am
Hello, I live in Italy an yesterday we found this on the farm, nobody had ever seen one. Here it’s autumn, the weather is mild and damp. The bug was found about 30km from the coast, 120m above sea level, latitude 42 N longditude 15 east. What could it be?
Signature: Caroline

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Hi Caroline,
This is the caterpillar of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth,
Acherontia atropos, a wide ranging species found throughout much of Europe, the Mediterranean region and down to the tip of South Africa.

Julieta Stangaferro, Hanalie Sonneblom liked this post
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Beautiful Saturniid Caterpillar

Saturniid Caterpillar, possibly in genus Automeris

Saturniid Caterpillar, possibly in genus Automeris

Subject: Not sure about this little friends
Location: Panama, Chiriqui province
November 3, 2014 7:48 am
Here in Panamá is common the encounters with worms if you live near forest zones. Here two species that I want to know more about. I think the fist one can be a hawkmoth caterpillar and the second one maybe a silkmoth caterpillar. Thanks in advance, bugman.
Signature: KLS

Possibly Automeris species

Possibly Automeris species

Dear KLS,
We agree with your identifications, but alas, we haven’t the time right now to investigate further.  Your images and the caterpillars are both wonderful.  We believe the Silkmoth Caterpillar may be in the genus
Automeris, or a closely related genus. Perhaps one of our readers can investigate this further.  We will also try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he has any ideas.



Nice pictures of amazing animals!
The Saturnid caterpillar is probably of an Automeris species indeed.
The Sphingid caterpillar is most likely a Manduca pellenia.
Nice wishes from Berlin,

Thanks Bostjan,
We will search for some appropriate links.

Ed. Note November 4, 2014:  Identification submissions to What’s That Bug? can include three attachments and very few folks actually attach all three.  In instances where three images are submitted, we generally only post two.  We are retroactively amending this posting to contain the third image as all three are so beautiful.

Ito Fernando liked this post
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Subject: Alice in Wonderland caterpillars
Location: Toledo District, Belize
October 30, 2014 9:09 pm
Hello, bugman and devoted staff,
These caterpillars repeatedly defoliate the plumeria, which suffer no apparent ill effects. Can you tell me what these turn into?
Many thanks.
Signature: Tanya

Tetrio Sphinxes

Tetrio Sphinxes

Hi Tanya,
The bright colors of these Tetrio Sphinxes are quite spectacular and they really do look like fantasy creations of the imagination.

Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Debbie Lynn May, Linda Singleton, Ito Fernando, Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
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Subject: What kind of caterpillar is this?
Location: Ames, IA
October 26, 2014 1:53 pm
I have found this caterpillar in the grass while taking my dog on a walk. I would like to know what species of caterpillars it is and what it will become. I was hoping this website would help me.
Signature: Emily

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Emily,
Your caterpillar is a Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar,
Hyles lineata.

Kitty Heidih, Sean Gaukroger liked this post
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Subject: caterpillar
Location: Northwest Houston, TX
October 24, 2014 5:51 am
I found this in a parking lot in Houston, TX. I’ve lived here all my life and have never seen anything like it. It looks like some of the Sphinx Moth caterpillars I’ve seen in Google Image Search, but it doesn’t quite match any of them. Could you help me identify it?
Signature: Jeremy


Hornworm may be Banded Sphinx

Hi Jeremy,
We agree that this is a Hornworm in the family Sphingidae, even though it appears to be lacking a horn.  Our first impulse was that this resembles a pre-pupal Waved Sphinx Caterpillar, but the lack of a horn and the orientation of the light slashes behind the spiracles and running from front to back in orientation would eliminate that as a correct identification.
  A prepupal Modest Sphinx Caterpillar pictured on Sphingidae of the Americas also has the white slash marks oriented the opposite direction.  As we must leave for work now, we are going to write to Bill Oehlke to get his assistance.  We wonder if it might be an unusually colored Ficus Sphinx, Pachylia ficus.  We were unable to locate its identity on the Sphingidae of the Americas Texas page.

Wow, thanks!  I honestly didn’t expect such a quick response. You guys rock! Let me know what Bill thinks.

Kimberly Fuller Karkovice, Kitty Heidih, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Megan Sweetness liked this post
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Pre-Pupal Hornworm, we believe

Pre-Pupal Modest Sphinx Caterpillar, we believe

Subject: Green tubular bug
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, Rio Grande Valley
October 15, 2014 6:48 am
Found this in the sand under a tree that has had a moth infestation. Facebook friends say it is a tomato hornworm, but it has no horns or spots and is a long way from the garden.
Signature: Emily

Dear Emily,
In our opinion, this is a pre-pupal Caterpillar in the family Sphingidae, and it is burying itself in the ground prior to pupation.  As you mentioned, there are no obvious features apparent.  If you provide us with a side view and the name of the tree you found it under, we will pursue this identification.

Thanks for the quick response! I can’t find another one, but it was under a cottonwood tree. I will look again later today.
The tree has been suffering from a tent caterpillar infestation.

Thanks for the quick response.  This is not a Tent Caterpillar, but since the host tree is a cottonwood, we believe this is in the genus Pachysphinx, most likely a Big Poplar Sphinx or Modest Sphinx caterpillar which is pictured on the Sphingidae of the Americas site.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination