Subject: Unknown Caterpillar
Location: Tampa, Florida
January 22, 2013 1:35 pm
Hi Bugman,
I am trying to upload of a picture of a cool caterpillar that my friend took to a website called iNaturalists. I need to be able to identify it. I can not seem to find anything that looks remotely similar except swallowtail. If you could help me identify this bug I would be forever grateful.
Signature: Matthew Butner

Pluto Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Matthew,
Initially we thought this was a caterpillar of a Tersa Sphinx, but it was odd that the row of eyespots typically found along the body was absent.  As we did additional research, we realized this is most likely a closely related species in the same genus, the Pluto Sphinx,
Xylophanes pluto.  You can see a similar looking caterpillar on BugGuide.  Also according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on Milkberry (Chiococca species), Hamelia patens, and Erythroxylon species.”

Location: Florida

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