Subject: Fuschia munching catetpillar
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
November 10, 2015 1:11 am
Hi – this magnificent bug was found devouring my fuschia. I live in Jhb, South Africa and would love to know what it is. Regards
Signature: Debbie Vieira



Dear Debbie,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  We glanced through iSpot with no luck, but carefully searching through all of the entries may lead you to a species name.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with a conclusive identification.



After your response my kids made it their challenge to find the species.  They eventually found it under Hippotion Celerio.
Thanks for putting us on the right track.
Debbie Vieira

Update:  Theretra capensis
Thanks to a comment from Bostjan Dvorak, we now know that this is the caterpillar of Theretra capensis, a species pictured on African Moths where the food plants are listed as:  “Vigna, Ampelopsis, Cissus, Rhocissus digitata, Rhocissus tridentata, Rhocissus tomentosa, Vitis vinifera” but there is no mention of Fuschia.

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Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

2 Responses to Hornworm from South Africa

  1. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    Great photos of a wonderful caterpillar, congratulations!
    This beautiful animal is a fully grown larva of Theretra capensis.

    Best wishes from Berlin,

    • bugman says:

      We were hoping you would come through with this ID for us Bostjan. Thanks for all your assistance with Sphingidae identifications over the years.

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