Subject:  What bug is it
Geographic location of the bug:  Durban
Date: 11/20/2017
Time: 02:13 PM EDT
Hi,
This Bug was found in my dads yard. Can you help identify what type of bug this is?
How you want your letter signed:  Suren

Unknown Hornworm:  Coelonia fulvinotata

Dear Suren,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, but we have not had any luck identifying the species.  We could not find it on iSpot, but we cannot view any observations past page 1, so it might be listed there, but either we are having technical difficulties, or the site is having technical difficulties.  We have numerous images on our site of Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillars, a different species from the same family that looks somewhat similar.  Do you know what plant it was eating?  Knowing the food plant is an excellent clue to discerning the identity of many insects.  Perhaps Bostjan who frequently contributes to our site will write in with a comment and an identification.

Unknown Hornworm

Update:  November 22, 2017
Thanks to Bostjan’s comment, we now know that this is
Coelonia fulvinotata, and there are images on Zimbabwe Flora and Hiveminer to support that identification.

Location: Durban, South Africa

2 Responses to Unknown Hornworm from South Africa: Coelonia fulvinotata

  1. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    Yes, this is a caterpillar of the Fulvous hawk, Coelonia fulvinotata! Great photos. It is indeed a close relative of the Death-Head-Hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos. The moth is similar, but has a long proboscis. If You put the caterpillar in a box with some earth and litter, You can see it pupate and develop to a nice large moth… What a fascinating site!

    Best wishes from Berlin and Thanks for sharing,
    Bostjan

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