Subject: This is the Biggest Thing I’ve Ever Seen!
Location: Regina Saskatchewan
September 5, 2013 5:34 pm
I think this is a Achemon Sphinx catapiller. It’s very large! I live in Regina, Saskatchewan. When I first found it, it was a very pale beige. Within an hour it turned dark beige, by morning it was reddish.
It has a fake ”eye” on it’s back end with white markings along it’s sides.
If this is indeed what I think it is, is this common in Saskatchewan? I’ve never seen one before.
We agree that this is an Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar, and the fact that it darkened most likely indicates that it is preparing to pupate. The Sphingidae of the Americas Saskatchewan page lists the Achemon Sphinx, but there is no information on its local population. On the Sphingidae of the Americas species page, Bill Oehlke writes: “This species is not often seen in Manitoba, but can be quite common further to the south in most of the United States.” We are speculating that the same might apply to Saskatchewan. There must be a larval food plant nearby, and providing a source of food is a good way to ensure that a species will proliferate in a given area. According to the Sphingidae of the Americas: “Eumorpha achemon larvae feed upon Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies (Ampelopsis).” Since the species is not common in Manitoba, Bill Oehlke might be interested in your Saskatchewan sighting, so we are copying him on this response.