Subject: Red Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug: Denver Colorado
Time: 05:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Any idea what kind of bug this is? I’m 99% sure it is a caterpillar, but can’t find a similar one online. It is definitely a creature of some sort, it moved when I tried to pick it up.
How you want your letter signed: Robin
This is a third instar Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar, and here is a matching image from BugGuide. According to Sphingidae of the Americas: “L3: At this stage, the larvae look quite different. The long straight horn now curves and looks strikingly similar to a Parthenocissus quinquefolia tendril. The larvae can be yellowish, green, brownish or reddish with 5 white eyespots around the spiracles on the sides of the larvae.” Your individual has not yet shed its caudal horn.
Correction: Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar
Thanks to a correction from frequent WTB? contributor Bostjan Dvorak, we acknowledge our initial mistake.