Subject: Mystery caterpillar
Location: Utica, Ohio
August 19, 2017 2:18 pm
Hello, Bugman! We found this caterpillar here in Central Ohio, we were curious to know what kind it is. Thank you!
Is there a Catalpa Tree or Cigar Tree nearby? This looks to us like a Catalpa Sphinx, Ceratomia catalpae, a species with variable coloration. Image B on Nature Search looks very much like your individual, and the description is “The mature caterpillar is about 2 3/4 inches in length. The color varies on individuals from mostly yellow to mostly black. The head is black. The sides are often marked with vertical black lines. There is a long, straight black horn on the top of the last segment.“
Yes, there actually is a cigar tree right near where the caterpillar was found. Thank you so much for your quick response, and for helping us ID this little guy!