Location: Colfax Ca USA ( Nor Cal, upper foothills of Sierra Nevada Mountain range
August 15, 2015 10:59 pm
Found this guy on our back porch two days in a row. Its sunmer time.He’s about 3 in long. As big around as an average persons pointer finger. Has texture like an oak worm. And this one creepy eye.Seems like some sort of caterpillar. In picture hes hanging over a piece of lattice. Only about 1/3 of his body showing. Any info would be greatly appreciated
Signature: thank you- Walker-Costanzo Family
Dear Walker-Costanzo Family,
We are certain that this is a Caterpillar in the Sphingidae family, and it is most likely in the genus Eumorpha. Caterpillars in the family are typically called Hornworms because they have a caudal horn, but the genus Eumorpha is unusual because when the caterpillars mature, they shed the horn, and all that remains is a caudal bump that often resembles an eye. According to BugGuide, the only member of the genus reported in California is the Achemon Sphinx, and the complete Achemon Sphinx caterpillar looks close enough to your “tail end” view that we are relatively confident the identification is correct, however, three other species in the genus are reported in nearby Arizona. According to BugGuide: “Larvae feed on leaves of grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus), Ampelopsis and related vining plants.” Was there a grape vine near the sighting?