Subject: Catapiller in guatemalia
Geographic location of the bug: San Pedro
Time: 04:49 PM EDT
I am studing in San Pedro and saw this huge catapiller. Any idea what it is
How you want your letter signed: Cris
This is a Hornworm in the family Sphingidae, though it is a species that loses the caudal horn when molting, leaving a caudal bump at the tail end of the insect. Furthermore, it is dead. We are not certain if it is the victim of an internal parasite, or if it was preyed upon by a predator that sucks fluids from the body of its prey like a Predatory Stink Bug. We believe we have identified the caterpillar as that of the Gaudy Sphinx Moth, Eumorpha labruscae, based on images of the caterpillar posted to The Sphingidae of the Americas. This is a caterpillar that is thought by many to mimic a snake to protect it from birds. Sphingidae of the Americas notes: “There is a striking resemblance to a snake’s head and eye, and a flattening of the thoracic segments when the head is not retracted.” We received similar images from you and from Ken who wrote: “A friend sent me these photos from somewhere in Guatemala, taken today. Any idea?” We are presuming you are the photographer, though we used the image provided by Ken as it was horizontal in format, an orientation we prefer on our site.
Thank you Daniel, for your detailed response, it was still moving but looked sick. I am studing spanish in guatemalia and it was at my school, will check its condition today. Thank you again