Subject:  Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars in Joshua Tree National Park
Geographic location of the bug:  Joshua Tree National Park, California
Date: 04/05/2019
Time: 8:15 AM PDT
Daniel took a much needed break from the office on Thursday to drive to Joshua Tree National Park with Sharon to view the superbloom phenomenon.  At the Cottonwood Springs entrance to the park, the wild flowers were most spectacular, and it seemed that every plant had at least one Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar feeding on the vegetation.  Sharon asked why there were so many.  In years with substantial precipitation falling in the desert, there is an increase in vegetation, and that provided more food for more caterpillars that in turn provide more food for birds, rodents and other insectivores.  Periodically, there are population explosions of Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars.  Though most of the caterpillars were dark, we were still able to locate a few lighter individuals.

Whitelined Sphinx Cateprillars: Dark and Light forms.

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars: Dark form

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar: Light form


Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California

4 Responses to 1000s of Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars in Joshua Tree National Park

  1. Maya says:

    Thank you! I hope they are safe for dogs to eat – mine were gobbling them down today like crazy (so far, all seems normal)…

  2. Lisa says:

    Does anyone know when they will metamorphose into moths?

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