Subject: Elephant Hawk Moth
Location: Minden, Ontario
August 14, 2017 7:28 pm
Hi! I believe I also have an Elephant Hawk Moth larva/caterpillar in my yard – I took these photos last week & compared it to the one posted on August 7th from BC and they appear to be the same.
While there are some similarities between your caterpillar and the Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar, that is a European species that has been introduced to the Pacific Northwest, and to the best of our knowledge, it is not found in Ontario. Your caterpillar is in the same family, the Hawkmoth or Sphinx Moth family Sphingidae, but it has the unusual characteristic of lacking a caudal horn in its final instar, and possessing a caudal bump where the horn has been shed. Your caterpillar is a Yellow-Banded Day Sphinx, Proserpinus flavofasciata, and we verified its identity on BugGuide and Sphingidae of the Americas. where it states ” Larvae feed on willow weed (Epilobium) and possibly thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus).”