Currently viewing the category: "Hornworms"
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Subject: Huge brown defensive Cyclops looking caterpillar
Location: Denver Colorado
July 24, 2014 9:50 pm
Please help me identify this what I am assuming is a caterpillar. We came home around 10 pm it’s about 65 degrees out . Our dog was tossing this thing around and it was getting very defensive. It has one spot on it’s rear end, is a great flipper, and it’s face was tucked in. Very fast moving, and about 3 -4 inches long and it was about as fat as a penny.
Signature: Confused Coloradan

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Confused Coloradan,
Hornworms in the genus
Eumorpha loose their caudal horns and all that remains is a type of scar known as the caudal bump, and in some species this resembles an eye.  Your caterpillar is most likely that of an Achemon Sphinx, and you can compare your image to this image on BugGuide.

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Subject: Habitat HELP!!
Location: Illinois
July 22, 2014 4:27 pm
Hello WTB ive been trying to gather some research for a bug i picked up today. Ive been searching for a caterpillar for quite some time n it actually found me! I believe i properly identified it as Hyles Gallii “Bedstraw Hawkmoth”. Its fairly big so i decided im going to keep it indoor, in an old fish tank. I was just going to try and mimick a woodsy outdoor habitat? I know ventilation is key so i will leave the top open or fix something over or wood a mostly enclosed area not good? I took some of its host plant i found it on so hes currently eating that. Any other tips? moisture, light, etc.
Signature: Corey

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Corey,
In our opinion, you have identified the correct genus, but not the correct species.  This is a Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar,
Hyles lineata.  Your old fish tank is a good habitat.  We would cover the top with screen, netting or cheesecloth to provide air circulation.  Keep it is a shaded location so the sun doesn’t bake your caterpillar through the glass.  Many caterpillars in this family dig beneath the earth to pupate, so loose, moist but not wet potting soil should be placed in the bottom of the habitat.  See BugGuide for additional information.

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Subject: Panogena lingens found by Ilija Klejmjonov in Madagascar
Location: Madagascar, by Ilija Klejmjonov
July 8, 2014 4:01 pm
Dear Bugman,
As to our Coelonia fulvinotata… A confusion led to a spectacular new finding! When looking for some pictures of Coelonia fulvinotata, which were often found and commented within this nice site, as a model for a drawing, on the web, I accidentally found a slightly different caterpillar, guiding me to the blogsite of Ilija Klejmjonov, http://adderley.livejournal.com/150820.html?mode=reply#add_comment; as he breeded it at home and documented its metamorphosis with the pictures of the pupa and the moth, the emerged moth is obviously a Panogena lingens, and not the supposed Coelonia fulvinotata (to which one can be led by some confusing drawing of the moth, resembling to both species – but without this confusion I would never have found this caterpillar). Thus we have the first insight of the larval stages of a Panogena species, which were not yet known. Ilija Klejmjonov has found this caterpillar on a potted plant of Duranta erecta (Verbenaceae), a non native plant in Madagascar, it was difficult to assign, as imported ornamental plant originating from the southern new world. The documented pupa shows some similarity with those from the genus Lintneria. The revealment of an African (and Madagascan) secret… (Nothing own to attach except a picture of a tentative design by coloured pencils)
Nicest wishes,
Bostjan Dvorak
Signature: Bostjan Dvorak

Panogena lingens

Panogena lingens

Dear Bostjan,
We are sorry for the lengthy delay in responding.  Thanks so much for providing us with your wonderful drawing documenting the stages of life for
Panogena lingens of Madagascar.

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Subject: What’s on the caterpillar?
Location: Southeastern Virginia
July 21, 2014 12:33 pm
A friend has a caterpillar in her garden and she found it like this today. It was fine a few days ago…What in the world is going on with it?
Signature: Crystal

Carolina Sphinx Before

Carolina Sphinx Before

Dear Crystal,
This caterpillar is a Carolina Sphinx or Tobacco Hornworm,
Manduca sexta, and they are frequently found feeding on tomato plants and related plants in the garden.  Your second image documents the results of a parasitization by a Braconid Wasp, Cotesia congregata.  The female Braconid lays her eggs inside the caterpillar using an ovipositor and the larval wasps develop inside the caterpillarfeeding on the caterpiller beneath its skin.  When the larvae mature, the make their way to the surface and spin cocoons, and that is what is shown in the second image.  The caterpillar will not live to maturity even if the cocoons are removed.  See BugGuide for additional information on the Braconid.

Carolina Sphinx parasitized by Braconids

Carolina Sphinx parasitized by Braconids

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Subject: Moth
Location: Michigan
July 17, 2014 4:13 am
Can you tell me what kind of moth this is? From Michigan and I used to see them a lot when I was a kid. Wing span is about 4.5 inches
Signature: Melanie Wilson

Five Spotted Hawkmoth

Five Spotted Hawkmoth

Hi Melanie,
Your moth is a Five Spotted Hawkmoth, and we are speculating that there is a vegetable patch near where the sighting occurred as the caterpillar, known as the Tomato Hornworm, feeds on leaves of tomato and related plants.  More information on the Five Spotted Hawkmoth is available on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

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Subject: Moth Caterpillar inf California
Location: California
July 16, 2014 7:27 am
My husband found this caterpillar on our garden 5 days ago and has been keeping it in a plastic bowl and feeding it with leaves so it won’t eat our plants. Do you know what this is? How long will it be before it turns into a moth or a butterfly? Thanks! We live in Chino Hills, California and it is the middle of summer.
Signature: Ana

Tobacco Hornworm

Tobacco Hornworm

Dear Ana,
Your caterpillar is a Tobacco Hornworm,
Manduca sexta, one of two closely related, similar looking species that feeds on the leaves of tomatoes and other related plants in the family.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas website:  “Tobacco Hornworms, equipped with a red-tipped horn at the end of the abdomen, are true gluttons and feed on tobacco and tomato, and occasionally potato and pepper crops and other plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).”

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination