yikes! what kind of caterpillar is this??
can you tell us what kind of caterpillar this is? he (or she) has a false “eye” on the tail and kind of hisses when you touch it it also strikes out at whatever touches it like it want to bite… it is on our fence in barrington, ri right near a bunch of forsythia trees thank you
meme pudifin

Hi Meme,
This is an Abbott’s Sphinx, Sphecodina abbottii, Caterpillar. There are several color variations and this is the most spectacular. The false eye and the aggressive behavior will fool a predator like a bird into thinking it is dealing with a potentially harmful snake instead of a harmless succulent caterpillar. We are sad you did not include a location in your letter. We are going to copy Bill Oehlke on this in the hopes you will provide locations for both of us so he can include the information in his comprehensive species distribution date.
it is in barrington, rhode island in our backyard!! thank you so much are they common to this area??

One Response to Abbott's Sphinx Caterpillar

  1. dee says:

    I live on long Island Ny . just found one of those creatures on the stem of a vine.
    hoping it was a cecropia moth, no luck.
    thanks for the pix
    dee from long island

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