Subject: Oahu Caterpillar
Location: Pearl Harbor, Oahu, HI
July 31, 2015 10:38 am
I can’t figure out what this caterpillar is, I’ve seen several on google that are close, but not exactly the same, the closest match I’ve seen was a caterpillar that’s indigenous to Europe.
I live on Oahu and this guy was hanging out on my fence- I only noticed him because my dog kept trying to eat him.
Any help would be great!
Signature: Deanna H.
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae. According to the Sphingidae of Hawaii page, there are 13 known species in Hawaii, and your caterpillar does not match any of the images on the site, though several species do not include caterpillar images. It is possible that this is a newly introduced species since many plants and animals on Hawaii are not native. We will contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide any information.
Bill Oehlke Responds
Agrius cingulata with reduced brown along the diagonal stripes.
Please see if I can get permission to post.
Update from Bill Oehlke: August 28, 2016
I would not like to say that George is wrong. It could be Blackburn’s
Sphinx, but I still favour A. cingulata. For me I would have to see the adult
to make a final, totally confident judgement.
Unfortunately I do not think that is possible. Maybe over the next several
years someone else will capture a similar specimen, put it in a jar to
pupate and then will photograph the adult moth.
I look for blackburns to have a much darker anal horn, but perhaps that is a