Hello there! I have to start by saying what an impressive site you have! I am a fifth grade teacher in San Antonio Texas and my students happened to find this rather large caterpillar on their playground. They were very interested in it and want to keep it to see if it will grow into a butterfly or moth. We did some research on different caterpillars and compared them to what this one looks like. The closest match we could find was to the eyed hawk moth, but all references to the eyed hawk moth came from Europe. I found a moth that looks like the eyed hawk moth on your website called the Cerisy’s moth and searched the internet for pics of a cerisy’s caterpillar to no avail. We would really like to know what we have…. Our caterpillar is about 3 inches long and was found on the ground. He is lime green with diagonal white stripes and some pink dots (I think those are the spiracles) There are trees nearby and I think they are willow trees, but not positive. We put our little friend in an aquarium with a mesh top and some tree branches. It eats like crazy and seems to be happy with what we gave it. Can you identify him for us? We are hoping to see him turn into the moth before school gets out.
Christie and her very interested fifth graders.
Hi Christie and Students,
This is definitely a Sphinx Moth Caterpillar. We recommend Bill Oehlke’s awesome site, but it will take some major searching. We have seen this caterpillar before, but can’t put our finger on a name just yet. Meanwhile we will post until it is identified. Thanks for your touching letter.