What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  caterpillar ID
Geographic location of the bug:  St Petersburg FL
Date: 10/27/2018
Time: 02:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I was just hoping you might be able to help me identify this large caterpillar found on my fence this morning
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, NAS

Unknown Hornworm

Dear NAS,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae, but we are uncertain of the species.  Though your individual reminds us of the Hornworm of a Ficus Sphinx, it is not one of the typical color variations we see in that species.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a species identification

Unknown Hornworm

Update:  November 1, 2018
We received several comments indicating this is a member of the genus Erinnyis, and Cesar Crash provided this BugGuide link to the Alope Sphinx larva.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: St Petersburg, Florida

8 Responses to Unknown Hornworm from Florida from genus Erinnyis

  1. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    This is an excellent documentation of a darker variation of an Erinnyis species’ larva with thoracal contraction; maybe E. ello, but there are several other species of this genus in Florida. The appearance of the caterpillar is confusing, as its typical “eyespot” is completely hidden / only visible as a line…

    Best wishes and Thanks for sharing!
    Bostjan

  2. Looks to me like Erinnyis alope.

  3. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    Yes, I think the species is E. alope indeed. Thank You for the additional comparative photos; the shape of its horn is typical for this species, and thus convincing.

    Nice wishes,
    Bostjan

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