Subject: Giant Sphinx Pupa
Geographic location of the bug: Bernardo Heights Country Club, Rancho Bernardo, CA
Time: 01:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I spotted this caterpillar at our golf course this afternoon, Sunday, August 26, 2018. I think it is a Giant Sphinx pupa. Is this correct?
How you want your letter signed: CADSAN
This is a Caterpillar, not a Pupa, but based on the orange color, in our opinion it is a pre-pupal Caterpillar, and though it is not a Giant Sphinx, it is in the Sphinx Moth family Sphingidae. The blue caudal horn is unusual, and we believe we have correctly identified it as a pre-pupal Great Ash Sphinx Caterpillar, Sphinx chersis, thanks to this BugGuide image. According to BugGuide: “Larva – greenish or pinkish with seven long diagonal lines sometimes edged with pink. Spiracles elongate, black ringed with white. Horn blue or pink. ” According to Sphingidae of the Americas: “Larval hosts are ash, lilac, privet, cherry, and quaking aspen.”
Thank you for you prompt reply. I had never seen one of those before. Had a tough time trying to find a picture of him on the internet. He was crawling across a fairway, so I put him in what I am hoping is a safe area so he can hopefully become a moth someday. Your website is great!
Appreciate all the info.