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

Subject: Caterpillar found on my Chili plant
Location: Gauteng, South Africa
April 26, 2016 12:54 am
Hi there, I found a huge caterpillar on my chili plant and tried to google it and find more information about it. I found some images that relate to the one I have – It looks like a Laurel Sphinx caterpillar, but the region and habitat it is usually found in does not correspond with mine.. So I am not sure what it is. Can you please identify this for me?
Signature: M Kruger

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear M Kruger,
The reason your individual resembles the Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar is that your Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar is in the same family.  Caterpillars of the Death’s Head Hawkmoth are one of our most common identification requests from South Africa.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this larve?
Location: Near Lyle, WA
April 25, 2016 6:38 pm
We found this along a trail in eastern Washington. It was as burrowing a hole in the dry dirt. I tickled its tail with a piece of grass and it turned around, half in and half out of the hole, as seen in the pic. About 3-4 inches long, as big around as my pinky finger.
Signature: Jerry

Pacific Green Sphinx Caterpillar

Pacific Green Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Jerry,
We are very excited to post your image of a Pacific Green Sphinx Caterpillar,
Arctonotus lucidus, which we identified on The Sphingidae of the Americas site.  Caterpillars of Sphinx Moths are usually easy to identify because they have a caudal horn, but some species lose the horn and only a caudal bump remains, and it is thought to afford some protection as it resembles an eye.  Though we have several images of adult Pacific Green Sphinx Moths on our site including this individual from Lyle, your caterpillar image is a first for us.  David Wikle is quoted on The Sphingidae of the Americas:  “and in the fifth [instar], the ‘eye of God’ is pasted on its arse and the horn is replaced by a raised area like Xylophanes or Eumorpha larvae.”  The larva is also pictured on BugGuide.  Since it was digging in the dirt, and it was quite large according to your description, we can deduce it was going underground in preparation for pupation.  We are going to copy Bill Oehlke as your image is so stunning, he may request permission to post it to his own site. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar Vic australia
Location: Victoria Australia- bayside
April 20, 2016 5:58 pm
Hi, I found this on the ground in Victoria Australia. It’s as long as my palm. What is it?
Signature: Thanks

Convolvulus Hawkmoth Hornworm

Convolvulus Hawkmoth Hornworm

Your Hornworm is the caterpillar of a Convolvulus Hawkmoth, Agrius convolvuli , and you can verify our identification on ButterflyHouse where it states:  “The caterpillar may walk up to 300 metres from the food plant to pupate. It pupates in a cell in the soil. The pupa has a long looped compartment for the developing haustellum.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of caterpillar is this?
Location: Sandton, South Africa
April 13, 2016 12:31 pm
Hi there!
This is Absolem, the caterpillar who is living off of my Basil plant.
I live in Sandton, just north of Johannesburg, South Africa.
It has just turned Autumn here and we went through a bit of a cold spell but it’s warming up a little bit before winter hits.
From the pictures I’ve seen it seems like Absolem may be a Death’s head Hawk moth. But I’ve never seen any of these in this area so I’m not sure.
Could you possibly kindly tell me what Absolem will turn into?
Signature: Jennifer Williamson

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Jennifer,
Sweet Basil is not a plant listed on African Moths as being a larval foodplant for the Death’s Head Hawkmoth.  That list includes:  “
Brugmansia suaveolens, Solanum jacquini, Solanum Jasminoides, Solanum macrocarpon, Tabebuia pallida, Clerodendrum ugandense, Mormordica charantia, Vitex, Jasminum pubigerum, Spathodea, Duranta erecta, Lantana camara.”  Absolem’s color is atypical for a Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar.  We wonder if he would prefer a different food plant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hornworm
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
April 12, 2016 4:53 am
Hello
I found my cat playing now with this worm/caterpillar thing and I don’t know what it is. It makes a clicking noise and lifts in horn when I touch it with something.
Please let me know what this is?
Thanks!
Signature: Regards Shae Turner

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Shae,
This is a more atypical coloration for a Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar.  Most individual are yellow and green.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar identification
Location: Cape Town South Africa
April 11, 2016 1:39 am
Hi there. We have found 5 of these caterpillars eating our star jasmine in april in Cape Town South Africa.
Could you please identify them for us so that we can find out what moth/butterfly hey turn into for our home schooling class.
It is about 70mm long.
See attached photos.
Many thanks paige,Matt and Scott
Signature: Letter not vital

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Paige, Matt and Scott,
Your images of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Acherontia atropos, are wonderful.  Though we have no shortage of this species from South Africa on our site, the coloring on your individual is especially bold and it matches this iSpot image.  The common name refers to the skull-like pattern on the thorax of the adult Death’s Head Hawkmoth.

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination