Subject: Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars in Joshua Tree National Park
Geographic location of the bug: Joshua Tree National Park, California
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.