What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Giant Caterpillar
August 22, 2009
Found in the garden on 12.12.08. Approx 10cm Long and 1.5cm dia.
Can you identify it and tell me what it has by now become? We put it over the wall onto an adjacen vacant plot of land. Haven’t seen any more
Roy
Gurgan, India

Unidentified Hornworm from India

Oleander Hawkmoth Hornworm from India

Dear Roy,
This is a Sphinx Moth Caterpillar or Hawkmoth Caterpillar in the family Sphingidae.  These caterpillars are often called Hornworms for obvious reasons, and they are harmless.  The coloration of your specimen indicates that it was probably getting ready to pupate, which they do underground.  We will put in a quick inquiry with Bill Oehlke to see if he recognizes the species, and perhaps one of our readers will write in with a species identification.

Identification courtesy of Karl
August 24, 2009
Hi Daniel and Roy:
This looks like the caterpillar of the Oleander Hawkmoth (Daphnis nerii). It is native to southern Europe, Africa and Asia but is popping up worldwide as its host plant (Oleander) is spread as a popular ornamental. They are apparently well established in Hawaii for instance. The mature larvae are usually green but it does come in a variety of color variations; this is a brown form. The adults are very well represented on WTB and there has been at least one posting of a brown form caterpillar.  Regards.
Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: India

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