What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Purple caterpillar with pink stripe
Location: Caribbean
July 16, 2016 2:44 pm
Hi, my mum recently spotted this purple caterpillar with a pink and white strip along its body. It has a long stinger on its rear end. It looks similar to the frangipani caterpillar that we also have here. We live in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. Can you help us identify it?
Signature: S.J.

Whats That Hornworm???

Whats That Hornworm???  Isognathus species

Dear  S.J.,
This is a Hornworm Caterpillar in the family Sphingidae, the family that includes the Frangipani Caterpillar, the larva of the Tetrio Sphinx.  We searched the Sphingidae of Trinidad page to no avail.  The horn reminds us of the caudal horn of early instar caterpillars in the genus Eumorpha, and we also wonder if this might be a strange color variation of the Tetrio Sphinx.  We have contacted Bill Oehlke and we hope to hear back soon.  We hope you will allow Bill to post your image to his very comprehensive site.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so very much for your help! Sure he can post the image, that’s no problem.

Bill Oehlke Agrees
Yes, I agree it is one of the Isognathus, and scyron is likely.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Trinidad and Tobago

6 Responses to Unknown Hornworm from Trinidad appears to be Isognathus species

  1. Matthew Cock says:

    I agree that it is Isognathus scyron (Cramer). This caterpillar is a common sight around Trinidad homes as it feeds on Allamanda, which is a common garden plant. The presence of this species on Trinidad is well documented: Kaye (1901), Rothschild & Jordan (1903), Kaye (1914), Kaye & Lamont (1927), Schreiber (1978), Stradling et al. (1983), D’Abrera (1986). It is one of the commonest sphingids in Trinidad, e.g. Stradling et al. (1983) record capturing 1,740 specimens over eight years in Curepe.
    Stradling, D.J.; Legg, C.J.; Bennett, F.D. 1983 Observations on the Sphingidae (Lepidoptera) of Trinidad. Bulletin of Entomological Research 73, 201-232.

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