Subject: What’s that bug?
Location: Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa
November 21, 2016 9:58 pm
My name is Abiodun. I live in Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa. I was at work one day and saw this caterpillar. After searching online and seeing similar pictures, I think it looks like a Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar. It’s actually the start of autumn here. Could you please confirm this. Thank you.
Signature: Abiodun Afolabi



Dear Abiodun,
While your individual is a look-alike of the Caterpillar of a Tersa Sphinx, it is a different species in the same family Sphingidae.  We will attempt a species identification for you.  Many caterpillars have evolved with large fake eyespots as a camouflage defense mechanism.

Identification:  A special thanks to Bostjan Dvorak for identifying this Hornworm as Basiothia medea.  There is an image of the Hornworm on INPN.

Location: Lagos, Nigeria

2 Responses to Hornworm from Nigeria: Basiothia medea

  1. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    What a wonderful finding. This is a fully grown caterpillar of Basiothia medea, a pretty green hawkmoth with orange coloured hindwings. The larvae and adults of this hawkmoth genus’ species differ considerably from each other; whereas Basiothia medea looks rather like a smaller Euchloron megaera, B. schencki shows the appearance of a Hippotion celerio.

    Nice wishes from Berlin,

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