What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

UAE caterpillar
I have lived in the United Arab Emirates for 12 years and yesterday, I saw a caterpillar that I had never seen before. There were several off them spaced out on in the desert’s sandy/gravelly plain about 45 kms south of Dubai. Recently, we had heavy rains (unusual) and the desert turned into a green carpet of plants. I think it’s this abundance of foliage that has prompted the appearance of these caterpillars. The caterpillar has beautiful markings and was about 2″ long. I saw a photo of a similar caterpillar seen in the Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley, California. Possibly the same family? Best regards
David Lees

Hi David,
This is some species of Sphinx Moth Caterpillar in the family Sphingidae. Furthermore, we believed it to be in the genus Hyles, possibly Hyles euphorbiae, the Leafy Spurge Hawkmoth. The caterpillar is quite variable in color, and information can be found on Bill Oehlke’s great site. This species was introduced to the U.S. in 1965 as a biological control agent of the Leafy Spurge, a plant introduced from Europe. The original range of the moth is “from south and central Europe to central Asia.” We continued our research which led us to Hyles livornica on the Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic Website. It looks like a perfect match.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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