Big Ol’ Caterpillar
Location:  Southern California
October 9, 2010 4:44 pm
This huge caterpillar was climbing on my rosemarry plant. I’ve never seen it before and none of our neighbors recognize it. It’s about 3.5 to 4 inches long, and is a creamy color with dark brown slashes. It has a small dark dot on his tail. Thankyou for your help!
Signature:  Puzzled bug observer

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Puzzled bug observer,
Your caterpillar is an Achemon Sphinx, a variably colored hornworm that is unusual in that the later instar caterpillar loses its namesake horn.  Your individual is a match to several images on BugGuide, though the Sphingidae of the Americas website does not picture this color variation.  Rosemary is not listed as a food plant.  Grape and other vines are typical food plants for caterpillars, so we can’t help but wonder if a grape vine was growing near the rosemary.

Yes, the rosemary is growing directly next to a Thompson seeless grape vine!!  Thank you for the references and name so we can further research him.
We appreciate your quick response.  Sincerely,  no-longer-puzzled bug observer

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