My girls and I have been “raising” this fellow for about a week now. I have researched and looked at every caterpillar picture I can find. We know it is a sphinx but are uncertain which one. The facts that are causing the confusion are his horn color and his eating habits. He came out of our olive tree and that is his leaf of choice in his new “home”. Have you ever heard of this. He is not alone in our tree and by the looks of the ground they have friends in our neighbor’s olive tree as well. Your web site is wonderful! Any info. on our new “pet” would be appreciated.
Lynda, Erika & Emily
Hi Lynda, Erika and Emily,
The proper identification of Sphinx Caterpillars is often difficult. We sometimes spend hours online trying to identify them. Right now, time does not permit this but we would love to know what you have. The olive tree host is noteworthy information. Try going to Bill Oehlke’s excellent site to see if you can identify this critter, then please report back so we can post the information.
Thank you so much for the tip. We checked out Mr. Oehlke’s site and e-mailed him. He has already identified our friend as a Manduca rustica and has now made a Maricopa County page for his site. He also told us that our caterpillar was most likely violated by many parasitic wasps. Too bad he may not make it to his adulthood. He has already begun to pupate so I guess we won’t know for a while. Maybe one of his buddies in our other “habitat” will make it. My girls and I are so grateful for the help! Your site is great!
Lynda, Erika and Emily Leatherwood