What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillar, grey, “one-eye”, snake like
August 3, 2009
We found this caterpillar in the Rouge Valley area of southern Ontario. It is grey, and at the rear end it has a mark that looks like an eye. It raises it’s back end and strikes like a snake. Could you please tell us what type it is, and what it turns into?
R & E
Rouge Park, Toronto, South Eastern Ontario

Abbott's Sphinx Caterpillar

Abbott's Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear R & E,
Your “one eyed monster” is an Abbott’s Sphinx Caterpillar, Sphecodina abbottii.  There are several different color morphs for the caterpillar that make them look like different species.  You can see these variations on Bill Oehlke’s awesome website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

10 Responses to Abbott's Sphinx Caterpillar

  1. D Fink says:

    july 12 2013 just encountered a one eye abbotts sphinx caterpiller i’ve never seen anything like it before very scary looking little creature with an attitude

  2. Bridget says:

    Very scary creature. Do they bite? I had one strike at me several times.

    • bugman says:

      Someone once said to us “If it has a mouth, it can bite” so we suppose an Abbot’s Sphinx Caterpillar might bite a person, but no harm would occur.

      • Linda Duke says:

        One bit me behind the knee and it made a red swollen place with puss in the center. It burned and etched all night! Today it looks better and doesn’t etch so much. It tried to bite again on my hand! It clung aggresively to my skin and wouldn’t brush off! I had to pull it off with my left hand and it tried to bite me again! I have a small bit on my hand but was able to remove it before it got a good hold. I never have had this happen. I am 65 years old and am an out side type of person.

  3. Lindi says:

    I have better photos if I could post them here it might help people avoid them better especially children

  4. Dave says:

    Found one yesterday at our place on East Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. Very aggressive and almost impossible to hold. Put it in the bush. It was on the house

  5. Ryan says:

    Found one of these creepy dudes in my backyard in Barrie Ontario. He was moving his head around and trying to strike us but we managed to kill it before anything happened. Weird!

    • bugman says:

      Abbott’s Sphinx Caterpillars pose no threat to humans and killing it before anything happened seems to us to be an extreme reaction.

  6. Kevin Wright says:

    We live in New Brunswick, Canada. Our pup found one this morning by our grape vines. First time we’ve seen one and didn’t know what it was. Got pics and then let go.

  7. Dave says:

    Kevin that is Interesting because we have some wild grapes behind the house. It is also where I put the caterpillar because it was a dense area that I thought offered protection. Maybe there is a link to grapes?

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