February 28, 2010
We were in Antigua Feb2010 and saw several of these on a shrub. They were as big around as a thumb and about 6 inches long. We are curious to know what the moth or butterfly looks like after it finishes it’s cycle. Also do all caterpillars turn into moths or butterflies?
Dear A&L Smith,
This striped caterpillar is the larva of a Tetrio Sphinx, Pseudosphinx tetrio, a common species in the tropical Americas, and it is also reported from Florida. You can see photos of the adult moth on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website. All caterpillars become butterflies or moths, except those that are parasitized by wasps and flies and thus cannot complete their life cycle. There are caterpillar-like creatures, including Sawflies, and they may be easily confused with the larvae of butterflies and moths.