Caterpillar: Pseudosphinx tetrio
Hi Daniel and Lisa Anne,
This Pseudosphinx tetrio is one more critter from Nevis, Leeward Islands, West Indies, in May of 2006. They were only half-grown, and they were eating the leaves of Yellow Allamanda (Allamanda cathartica) bushes, up at 1,000 feet. I know you already have several images of this species, but I couldn’t resist trying to get a good shot of one; they are so lovely. This picture shows very well the difference between a caterpillar’s true legs and false legs. And by accident the shot includes a lovely, slightly out-of-focus piece of caterpillar poop! (By the way, I have found that if you put a piece of caterpillar poop into a dish of water, the poop comes apart into rather pretty, flat, flower-shaped layers of green cellulose, which look like confetti!) These caterpillars eat Plumeria, Allamanda, and other poisonous plants, so although they are not poisonous for humans to handle, I am sure that to a bird looking for a snack, these caterpillars are, at the very least, really, really horrible-tasting… All good wishes to you both, and thanks for a really great site,
Susan J. Hewitt
Hi again Susan,
Thank you so much for sending in your textbook quality image and first hand account of the Tetrio Sphinx Caterpillar. Occasionally we get a letter from southern Florida regarding this tropical species.