What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hornworm Identification
Location: South Eastern Australia
February 21, 2012 11:09 pm
Our cat found this caterpillar somewhere in our backyard and brought it to the door. We’ve never seen one like this before. We have a large vegetable garden so I assume that is where our cat found it. Are they poisonous to animals and is there a chance that there will be more of them? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you
Signature: Paul & Cheryl

Portrait of a Hornworm

Dear Paul & Cheryl,
Before we even attempt your identification, which you can probably find on Butterfly House, we want to gush about the quality of your “Portrait of a Hornworm”, a truly stunning image.  We needed to adjust the levels and we did crop rather severely, but the quality of the slight overexposure lent itself nicely to the rich saturated colors of the adjusted file and the blown out fashion style white background smacks a bit of Avedon.  There are lots of links of Hornworms on
Butterfly House, and we will tackle that task at a later time.

Identification courtesy of Bostjan Dvorak
What a great caterpillar! This is probably a Psilogramma menephron larva (or a P. increta one, or a closely related species from this genus). They feed on Oleaceae (like olive-tree, privet and ash) and Bignoniaceae (like trumpet-trees). This one is on its pupating march, with its colour already changed – looking for a suitable place to burrow into earth, and therefore wandering around. It is autumn now at Your latitude – it would be nice to know whether this species overwinters there for some months… (It can also pupate in an ice-cream box, filled with humid earth.) The pupa is very beautifully shaped, with an elegant proboscis case. The moth is grey, but very elegant too, and fast flying. – This is a migrating species, and the moths feed at night, hovering above flowers…
Best wishes from Berlin,
Bostjan Dvorak

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

One Response to Hornworm from Australia

  1. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    What a great caterpillar! This is probably a Psilogramma menephron larva (or a P. increta one, or a closely related species from this genus). They feed on Oleaceae (like olive-tree, privet and ash) and Bignoniaceae (like trumpet-trees). This one is on its pupating march, with its colour already changed – looking for a suitable place to burrow into earth, and therefore wandering around. It is autumn now at Your latitude – it would be nice to know whether this species overwinters there for some months… (It can also pupate in an ice-cream box, filled with humid earth.) The pupa is very beautifully shaped, with an elegant proboscis case. The moth is grey, but very elegant too, and fast flying. – This is a migrating species, and the moths feed at night, hovering above flowers…

    Best wishes from Berlin,
    Bostjan Dvorak

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