Mystery Sphinx Moth Identified!!
Scrolling through your caterpillar pages, I recognized Xylophanes pluto http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/xpluto.htm as the larvae of the moth in the photo I sent you a few days ago. I’m raising another one now. Yesterday it molted and changed from bright green to deep brown in a matter of hours. Thanks for your fascinating web site!
We are happy you identified a caterpillar we did not have a chance to write back to you about.
Actually the insect I was trying to identify was the Xylophanes Pluto moth, not the caterpillar. I’m sending the photo again, since I don’t believe you have one in your database.
Keep up the wonderful work!
Hi again Sacha,
Thanks so much for sending us the photo of the adult Xylophanes pluto, but we are a bit confused as you mention a larva and we missed you original email. Do you have a caterpillar photo to add to this posting? Can you provide a location to add to the posting? Thanks. We are copying Bill Oehlke on this email as he is keeping comprehensive data on the species distribution of Sphinx Moths in North America.
Hi Daniel, Here is the text of my original letter, sent on 7/16/08: Maybe you can help me identify this sphinx moth which hatched from a caterpillar I found on my pentas here in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It is similar to the Virginia Creeper sphinx , but different enough that I think it’s something else. I checked through the “moths” sections and didn’t see an identical one. Any idea? Thanks, Sascha In the first letter, I neglected to mention that I’d hatched the moth – or rather, sheltered the larva so I could watch it pupate and hatch. A few days after sending that letter, I recognized the Xylophanes Pluto caterpillar on your website. I didn’t get a chance to photograph the first caterpillar before it changed, but here are some photos of the one I’m currently watching. Although this one is the brown morph, the adult moth featured in the photo was from the green morph. Bill Oehlke might like to know that there are also Tersa Sphinx caterpillars on the same penta bush. I am happy to provide information and photographs for his efforts and yours.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Hi again Sascha,
Thanks for the additional information, the wonderful new photos of the caterpillar, and for assisting Bill Oehlke.