Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Subject: Large Spectaled Caterpillar
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
July 13, 2013 3:24 pm
Hi, I’m curious about this caterpillar. It looks like it could be a tiger swallow or possibly a sphinx type moth. I’m hoping you can help me.
Signature: Thanks, Randy

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar
Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Randy,
You are correct that this is a Sphinx Moth Caterpillar even though the Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar lacks the typical feature distinguishing the larvae of the Sphinx Moths, a caudal horn.  In its earlier instars, the Achemon Sphinx does possess a caudal horn, but it is shed prior to the final instar and instead of a horn, the Achemon Sphinx has a caudal bump.  It appears that might be a few unripe grapes on the ground next to your caterpillar.  Grape leaves are a favored food of the Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar.  You can read more about the Achemon Sphinx on the Sphingidae of the United States website.

Hey  Daniel,
Thanks, that’s great to know. We see those Sphinx moths around the yard. We found this little feller under the  grape vines on the pergola.  (Knocked down by the raccoons.). The read they are partial to grape vines.  I put him back up there.
Are they also known as hummingbird moths?
Thanks again, Randy

Hi Randy,
Diurnal species of Sphinx Moths that fly during the day are frequently called Hummingbird Moths.

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