Subject: unknown Armed Caterpillar
Location: CFB/ASU Wainwright
August 7, 2012 10:39 am
A coworker of mine came across this lovely specimen the other day and I have been unable to identify it. He reported that when he got close the caterpillar began thrashing his spike around as though trying to stab him with his knife and then scurried away suprisingly fast. Any clues as to what this may be would be greatly appreciated!
We needed to research the initials in your location in order to learn that the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) is located in Wainwright, Alberta, Canada. This harmless caterpillar is a Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar, Hyles gallii, and you can find wonderful information regarding the species on the Sphingidae of the Americas website. Larvae of the Sphinx Moths or Hawkmoths in the family Sphingidae are known as Hornworms. They often have caudal horns and they have developed elaborate defense tactics in an effort to intimidate predators. Your coworker must have been perceived as a predator.