Subject:  Big bug, hot for limes
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/19/2021
Time: 06:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this fella on my lime tree, just cruising around.
Taken June 7th.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug curious

Hornworm looks like Carolina Sphinx

Dear Bug curious,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth in the Sphingidae family, and it appears to be a Carolina Sphinx which is pictured on BugGuide.  The Carolina Sphinx feeds on the leaves of tomato, pepper and other solanaceous plants and not the leaves of a lime tree.  Do you have tomatoes or other related plants nearby?

Hi Daniel.
The plants nearby are a laurel tree, a rosemary plant, and a Portuguese blood orange tree.
About 50 feet away are some habanero plants, so maybe that’s it.
No tomatoes.
Basil? That’s not far away either, about 50 feet in another direction.

Location: Los Angeles, California

2 Responses to Possibly Carolina Sphinx on lime tree in Los Angeles

  1. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    Yes, this is a nice and well grown Manduca sexta caterpillar, sitting on a Habanero twig (Capsicum chinense (= C. angulosum); I see this plant is sometimes called “orange-” or “lime-” Habanero, due to the shape and color of its fruits). The smooth and compact leaves are a good food (for caterpillars of M. sexta, which populates the region together with M. quinquemaculata). Nice wishes

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