Rustic Sphix caterpillar?
I live in Queen Creek Arizona. This morning my 2.5 year old son was looking out the front window and telling me he saw a millipede outside (we found a small one in the house one time and since then he’s wanted to see one again). We went outside and found not a millipede but THE BIGGEST CATERPILLAR I HAVE EVER SEEN! It was a little cool out this morning and the caterpillar was laying on the even cooler cement and not moving much, there was also some “moisture” coming from its mouth region. I assumed it wasn’t doing so well. My son wanted to look at it some more so I put it in a plastic box and took it inside. The caterpillar perked right up…I’m assuming because it was warmer in the house. I was interested to know what this caterpillar was so I got on the internet and did some research (that is actually how I found your website a few months ago when I was trying to figure what type of spider I was seeing all over my house. I love your website!) I think I have narrowed this caterpillar down to some kind of “sphix” caterpillar and I think it is a rustic sphix. Am I right? Please let me know.
We agree with your Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar identification. Just before pupation, many caterpillars turn pink, orange or brown. Also, before pupation, those that burrow in the ground leave the food plant and become more visible. This is often in the autumn. Give your caterpillar some loose soil and it will burrow and pupate.