Subject: Moth caterpillar
Location: Ocean Ridge, FL
January 27, 2014 1:58 pm
Hello bugman! We found this caterpillar in a tree in our backyard this weekend. We live in Ocean Ridge, FL (Palm Beach county, about 300 steps from the ocean). We have seen our fair share of caterpillars and moths before (mostly sphinx) but haven’t seen this species before. Any idea what it might be? The part of the caterpillar you can see is about the size of my thumb.
Even though your photo only shows the tail end of this Hornworm disappearing behind a branch, it is unmistakably the hind end of a Fig Sphinx Caterpillar, Pachylia ficus. The caterpillar feeds on the leaves of fig trees and other trees in the genus Ficus. The adult Fig Sphinx is an impressive moth.