What is this ??
My 6 year old daughter is fascinated with insects. She found this in our front yard and I have no idea what it is. Will you please help us shed some light on what this insect is? Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you!

Hi Dana,
Your daughter found a Tersa Sphinx Pupa, Xylophanes tersa tersa, a member of the Family Sphingidae also known as Hawk Moths or Hummingbird Moths. Here is a link that will show you the life cycle of the moth. According to the site, ” Pupae probably wiggle to surface from subterranean chambers or leaf litter just prior to eclosion.” This could explain its appearance as your photograph indicated, which will also mean the adult moth will soon emerge. You didn’t state your location, but the site also maintains the moth “flies from Massachusetts south to south Florida; west to Nebraska, New Mexico, and southern Arizona; south through Mexico, the West Indies, and Central America to Argentina. An occasional stray makes its way into Canada.”

One Response to Tersa Sphinx Pupa

  1. Valorie says:


    I think this is the caterpillar I found in a flower pot this morning (11/28/16) in Corpus Christi, TX.

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