Hi, I live out in the California/Arizona border desert and recently my backyard has been taken over by a caterpillar that I haven’t seen around here before. They’ve been feeding on these creeper weeds that are covering the ground but have yet to disturb my fig tree or any of my other large trees growing near by. I’m not 100% positive what the weeds are but I think some of them are California Burclover and Hare barely, but the majority the caterpillers are on are the skinny weed with purple flowers that has sticky seeds. The closest I could find to look like them were Catalpa Caterpillar but I have no catalpa trees out here. They range in color from mostly black with green or orange spots or stripes, mostly green with some yellow and black spots or stripes, and I’ve even seen a few black and blue bellied ones. Their sizes range from an inch to 3.5″-4″. Just a large assortment of these lill’ guys. If you could please help me properly identify these guys I’d really appreciate it. I’m concerned for my dog, afraid that she might nibble one and I don’t know if their poisonous or not. Thanks for your time and your help!
This is a Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar. We’vr gotten numerous letters in the past two months from the Southwest from people reporting a huge population explosion of Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars.