What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

large green caterpillar
February 22, 2010
We found this caterpillar at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Florida in January.
I could not find it in any of their guides at the nature center, and have not been able to find it on-line
Daniel J. Marquis

Giant Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Daniel,
We believe this is a Giant Sphinx Caterpillar, Cocytius antaeus, based on a photo on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website.  According to the website:  “Mature caterpillars are large ( 20.81 g) and have a horn at the rear end. In the last instars, larvae are uniform green with a dark purple center back line and a very sharp white posterior side slash with some dark green on both sides of it.  Larva feed on Custard apple (Annona glabra) and on Annona reticulata, Annona purpurea, Annona holosericea, and Rollinia membranacea, of the Annonaceae family.
”  We are going to copy Bill on our reply to you because he is keeping comprehensive data on species sightings, and he may also request permission to post your lovely photo to his website.

Thanks for the quick reply.
I’m giving a slide show presentation next monday on Florida birding ( which will include much more than just birds ). It will be good to put a name to this beauty.

Bill Oehlke confirms identification
Thanks Daniel,
Here is email I just sent to Daniel Marquis
Hi Daniel,
Daniel Marlos of What’s That Bug directed me to your image of a Cocytius antaeus larvae. The identification is correct.
Here is a webpage that might be helpful for your presentation and also for future determinations
If you can send me a larger picture of the caterpillar, I would like to post it to a webpage I will create for Collier County Sphingidae larvae.
The image would be credited to you, Daniel Marquis?
Bill Oehlke

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

9 Responses to Giant Sphinx Caterpillar

  1. Bhagya says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Please let me know if you find this caterpillar again. I’m studying on them.
    305 284 1676


  2. Codty says:

    I just found a giant sphinx caterpillar in Lee county florida. You can email me for

  3. Will Meister says:

    I stumbled across this site trying to identify the caterpillar I found eating my plant in my back yard in Langley British Columbia.
    So far I have only seen this caterpillar I. D.d In southern U.S.

    Can email me for picture or video.

  4. Alina says:

    I just found one today in my garden, never ssw something like that before…huge catepillar!!it was eating my tomatoes in garden, I made a picture!

  5. Valerie Boschman says:

    I live in Olds Alberta, Canada and I’ve been watching this huge caterpillar eat a leaf on my Maple tree. Do I need to kill it? Is it harmful?

  6. Bill DuBois says:

    central Florida city of Palm Bay , found in back yard my neighbor has annona bush

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *