HUGE … caterpillar??
Location: Phoenix, AZ
November 7, 2011 9:23 pm
This was on the leaves of my Blue Potato Bush in Phoenix, AZ. It’s as thick and as long as my thumb. Can you tell me what it is? I assume it will eat my bush, but that’s nature….I won’t kill it!
There are two large caterpillars that feed on the leaves of tomato plants and relatives in the nightshade family including potato. We just posted a photo of one species, the Five Spotted Hawkmoth or Tomato Hornworm. You have submitted a photo of the other species, the Carolina Sphinx or Tobacco Hornworm, Manduca sexta.
Thank you so much, you are so quick! I looked it up to see what the caterpillar turns into. Very interesting information. One more question, if you don’t mind. What are the chances I would find that caterpillar in a cocoon and be able to see it emerge? I only have the one plant, so it doesn’t seem to me the caterpillar could go very far – or would want to…..
PS I am so thankful for the information I get from ‘What’s that bug’ that I am making a donation. Thank you again!
Hi again Suzy,
This caterpillar does not spin a cocoon. It buries itself in the ground and molts into a naked pupa like this image.