Subject: Red caterpillar
August 18, 2017 12:42 pm
What in the world is this? …..And will it kill me……lol
Your Hornworm in the family Sphingidae is somewhat unique in that it is lacking a caudal horn, and has instead a caudal bump where the horn has been shed during molting. Most members of the genus Eumorpha share the trait of having a caudal bump instead of a caudal horn. Your individual is the Pandorus Sphinx, Eumorpha pandorus, and you can read more about it on Sphingidae of the Americas where it states: “In mature larvae the abdomen has a small white to yellow spot on the anal segment and a single small dot on each of the first two abdominal segmenst and large oval spots around each spiracle on segments three through seven. The whiplike horn of early instars is replaced with a button in the last instar. There is black speckling on the dorsal surface of the thorax and anterior abdominal segments. When disturbed, the larva quickly retracts the head and first two segments of the thorax into the swollen, third thoracic segment. There are tan to orangey-brown to almost black as well as green larval forms.” The Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar is perfectly harmless, and the adult Pandorus Sphinx is a beautiful moth.