Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Gauteng – Benoni, South Africa
Date: 12/17/2018
Time: 09:11 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there. Please can you identify this worm / caterpillar for me. It is about 10cm long. Also what do I do with it now to keep it alive?
How you want your letter signed:  Christa

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Christa,
This beauty is a Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar and the larval foodplants are “
Brugmansia suaveolens, Solanum jacquini, Solanum Jasminoides, Solanum macrocarpon, Tabebuia pallida, Clerodendrum ugandense, Mormordica charantia, Vitex, Jasminum pubigerum, Spathodea, Duranta erecta, Lantana camara,” according to African Moths.  Your individual appears to be fully grown, and it might have been searching for a good place to dig beneath the surface of the ground in order to pupate.  We suspect metamorphosis is near.

Location: Gauteng, Benoni, South Africa

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