Subject: Caterpillar on Virginia creeper
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
June 25, 2017 8:02 pm
Hi there. I found this caterpillar along with some baby caterpillars and what could be eggs on my Virginia creeper vine. There are holes in the leaves. Not sure if the babies are the same caterpillar.
It looks like a shiny brown globe on its butt, interesting… Is it a fake eye to distract predators?
Signature: Maggie

Abbott’s Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Maggie,
This is an Abbott’s Sphinx Caterpillar,
Sphecodina abbottii, which we verified by comparing your individual to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on Grape, Vitis and Ampelopsis” and though it is not mentioned, Virginia Creeper is in the same family as grape and many caterpillars that feed on grape will also feed on Virginia Creeper.  BugGuide data does not report any Manitoba sightings, and Sphingidae of the Americas does not list the species among those found in Manitoba.  Though Sphingidae of the Americas does not include any reports from Manitoba, the species page does indicate a caterpillar “was spotted on Virginia Creeper in early August in Quebec.”  We are going to contact Bill Oehlke to inform him of your Winnipeg sighting which might be an indication the species is moving north due to global warming.  We hope you will allow him to post your image on his very comprehensive site.

Absolutely. I also have some pics of baby caterpillars, and eggs, which could be the same species – all in the same vicinity of the adult. I’m including them here…
I have spotted a Waved Sphinx here as well. Thanks for the id. I hope it doesn’t destroy my vine, but I’ll leave it.

Possibly Sphinx Moth Eggs

Dear Maggie,
The eggs do resemble those of a Sphinx Moth and the caterpillar with the caudal horn is definitely a Sphinx Moth Caterpillar, however there are other species that feed on Virginia Creeper and we cannot state for certain that your early forms are Abbott’s Sphinx.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas, the Achemon Sphinx is reported from Manitoba and the site states:  ”
Eumorpha achemon larvae feed upon Grape (Vitis), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and other vines and ivies (Ampelopsis).

Sphinx Caterpillar Hatchling

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

23 Responses to Abbott’s Sphinx Caterpillar in Manitoba, Canada

  1. Susie says:

    I have found three on my creeper in Winnipeg-Windsor Park.

  2. Toni says:

    We have one on our Virginia Creeper in Fort Garry area, along with a baby catterpilar and eggs. It is brown and green colour. We got some beautiful pictures.

  3. Lena says:

    I found one on my creeper as well. Steinbach Manitoba

  4. Darla says:

    Just saw one near my creepers (established ones) in Deer Lodge, Winnipeg.

  5. Courtney says:

    I spotted one of these in my yard last summer— I have creeper all over my house. I also have spotted the one with the eggs so definitely have made their way to Winnipeg!

  6. Ashley Sokal says:

    I took out a 3 year old Virginia Creeper today and found about 15 of these, maybe 7 of the larger size and 8 smaller instars that are more white. I am in North Kildonan in Winnipeg

  7. Charmaine Lyons says:

    Found an abbots Sphinx moth on Virginia creeper that I was trimming back. I was about to snip the VC and then saw something wiggle. I have kept it in a habitat to observe it. I would appreciate any info available on rearing it to chrysalis or cocoon. Thanks.
    Also, how do I send a photo?

  8. Merina says:

    Have never seen these before yesterday, when suddenly our creeper vine was absolutely decimated. There must be at least 30 on there, in varying stages! We’re in St. Vital, Winnipeg MB.

  9. Jon says:

    Also just found a large caterpillar Sphinx moth 5” long in our garden. Tyndall Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba

  10. Fran says:

    Yep, we have found them in our grape vines as well in Fort Garry, Manitoba. They are quite large and do a lot of damage on our vines ( decimated leaves). They are certainly not very pretty but as they are part of nature, I’ll leave them alone. For now!

  11. Leena Larose says:

    I live in Sudbury Northeren Ontario Canada and I took pics of 2 of these…not sure if they’re mates just only the 2 I found on my Virginia Creeper and grapevine

  12. jackie says:

    Just found two adults mating on a porch chair in Wolseley neighbourhood of Winnipeg. Will watch our Virginia creeper closely this summer!

  13. Kristin says:

    Just found a large moth in our yard. We live in the St. Boniface area and have Virginia Creeper in our yard and grapevines in an adjoining neighbours yard.

  14. tye marie says:

    We just discovered a few of these in our Virginia creeper in Garden City, Winnipeg! My son loves to identify caterpillars and we were delighted to find this page.

  15. Marla says:

    Found one on my grape vine this weekend.

  16. Kim says:

    After a thunderstorm last night, I found 8 of them on my deck along with lots of little poops. I have virgins creeper on a pergola above. I’m a bit worried for the vine as it has a fungus too. Hopefully their feeding is done very soon! I live in Charleswood.

  17. Judith Harris says:

    I discovered one on my virignia creeper yesterday – it was the size of a cigar (Furby south of Sargent). Judith

  18. Naomi says:

    I, too, have found a number of these caterpillars on my Virginia Creeper in the Charleswood area of Winnipeg…including the form with the large green spots.

  19. Kim says:

    Found 1 near in the Virginia creeper in St. Vital
    (4” long).

  20. STEWART says:

    We have found five in our Englemans ivy vine and eggs on leaves on a nearby tree that overhangs the ivy. They are eating their way through.Can we treat in any way?

  21. Monique says:

    Have found 2 feeding on a Virginia Creeper. Noticed them when they were bluish and now are huge, brown and 1-eyed. I live in Ile-des-Chenes, Manitoba.

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