Subject: Sphingidae, Hawkmoth, possibly Hemaris? caterpillar
Location: Nagoya, Japan
February 12, 2015 6:22 am
Here is a hornworm, found in November in Nagoya, Japan, which I have been trying in vain to identify for a few months. I thought it might be a Hummingbird Clearwing Hawk-Moth, but it has slightly different coloration. It was found on a night time walk near a thickly wooded and planted city park. It was across the street from any foliage and walking down the sidewalk toward a noodle restaurant. Assuming it was looking (in the wrong direction) for a place to pupate, I picked it up and carried it back into the park. It tried to ‘burrow’ between my fingers until I gave it a leaf.
I apologize for the night flash photos, but I didn’t have anything to carry it home in, and I wanted it to have a chance to pupate if possible. I placed it under a bush and when it lay passively, I gave it a poke with a leaf. It immediately displayed a defensive flail that gave us both a heart attack! I have been searching through Sphingidae of Japan, but there is very little information and I have only found one other photo that matches the pale green sides with darker green stripes, tiny red lateral spots and blue ‘horn’. Any hints would be greatly appreciated!
We have posted your Hornworm image, and we hope to be able to provide you with an identification very soon.