Caterpillar Identification
My name is Kevin. I am from the USA but am studying Spanish in San Jose, Costa Rica, for a couple of months. My class found this caterpillar & have no idea what it is. Could you please help me? I have searched several internet sites but found nothing that seemed to match. It is hard to tell from the pictures, but it is about 4.5 inches long.
Dumbfounded Kid,

Hi Kevin,
Caterpillar identification is often very difficult. At first, we thought there was a resemblance between your caterpillar and the Ficus Sphinx. When we researched Bill Oehlke’s site for close relatives, we found Pachylia syces syces. The caterpillar is said to resemble a Coral Snake and they thrash around and squeak. The species ranges from Mexico through Central America to Brazil and the larvae eat the leaves of various ficus species.

Thanks for helping
Hi, It’s Kevin again, otherwise known as “Dumbfounded Kid”. Over the weekend the caterpillar my class found turned into a chrysalis/coccoon. I have attached an updated photo with a scale for comparison. By the way, I am in 4th grade. What does Pachylia syces syces eat? Thanks, Dumbfounded Kid
P.S. The caterpillar definitely did a lot of thrashing but we never heard it make any sounds.

Hi Kevin,
The adults visit flowers and take nectar.

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