Currently viewing the category: "Hornworms"
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Subject: Elephant Hawk Moth
Location: Minden, Ontario
August 14, 2017 7:28 pm
Hi! I believe I also have an Elephant Hawk Moth larva/caterpillar in my yard – I took these photos last week & compared it to the one posted on August 7th from BC and they appear to be the same.
Signature: Sandy

Yellow-Banded Day Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Sandy,
While there are some similarities between your caterpillar and the Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar, that is a European species that has been introduced to the Pacific Northwest, and to the best of our knowledge, it is not found in Ontario.  Your caterpillar is in the same family, the Hawkmoth or Sphinx Moth family Sphingidae, but it has the unusual characteristic of lacking a caudal horn in its final instar, and possessing a caudal bump where the horn has been shed.  Your caterpillar is a Yellow-Banded Day Sphinx,
Proserpinus flavofasciata, and we verified its identity on BugGuide and Sphingidae of the Americas. where it states ” Larvae feed on willow weed (Epilobium) and possibly thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus).

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Subject: PetrH
Location: Czech republic, Moravičany
August 13, 2017 10:22 pm
Can not find what it is, will someone please help me?
Signature: PetrH

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear PetrH,
This is an Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Deilephila elpenor, and according to Learn About Butterflies:  “The caterpillar is brownish-grey, marked with a network of fine dark lines, much like the folds in the skin of an elephant’s trunk. When it walks, the caterpillar habitually sways the front segments from side to side, again reminiscent of the movement of an elephant’s trunk. The anal segment bears a short horn. The first two abdominal segments each bear a pair of pink and black eye-like markings. If the caterpillar becomes alarmed, it retracts its head, which compresses the thoracic segments and causes these ‘false eyes’ to expand. This gives the caterpillar a snake-like appearance, which presumably acts as a deterrent to predators.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What type of big is this?
Location: Tox, Ak
August 11, 2017 11:16 pm
We stayed at a camp in Tok, Alaska and while walking back came across this weird umm thing/bug can not figure out what it is.
Signature: Adrianna Miller

Gallium Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Adrianna,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae.  According to Sphingidae of the Americas, there are not many species found in Alaska, and we are quite certain because of the black color and red horn, that this is the Caterpillar of a Gallium Sphinx,
Hyles gallii.  More information on the species, also called the Bedstraw Hawkmoth, can be found on Sphingidae of the Americas. 

Thank you very much, the only thing we couldn’t see was the spots and I think that was because it was so dusty.

Also when we touched it with a stick it curled up and stuck the horn out, is that what it does?
Adrianna T. Miller
If they feel threatened, many Caterpillars will curl up.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identif this bug please
Location: Tenbury Wells, Worcestshire
August 10, 2017 8:15 am
Have found this on a rockery in garden and have no idea what it is. Can you help please?
Regards Mark
Signature: M Colman

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Mark,
This is an Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar, a common species in the UK.  According to UK Moths:  “The English name of this moth is derived from the caterpillar’s fanciful resemblance to an elephant’s trunk.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Elephant Hawk-Moth Caterpillar
Location: Surrey BC
August 7, 2017 6:02 pm
Hi there. I just came across the most unusual (and largest) caterpillar i have every seen, crawling along on my lawn. It is about 3 inches long, and has a long snout that pulled in when it became scared by my cat approaching. I have researched online and believe it to be an Elephant hawk-moth caterpillar, which is not common to BC. I am curious to know more about this guy and what he’s doing in my back yard.
Signature: Shannon

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Shannon,
Thanks to your submission we learned on Sphingidae of the Americas that:  “
Deilephila elpenor, the Large Elephant Hawkmoth (wingspan approx. 60-75mm), has recently established populations in southern British Columbia, Canada.”

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Subject: What’s this caterpiller
Location: Essex , U.K., england
August 6, 2017 5:16 am
Whats this caterpillar found on a fuchsia in Essex in the uk
Signature: Neil

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Neil,
This is an Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Deilephila elpenor.  According to Learn About Butterflies:  “The caterpillar is brownish-grey, marked with a network of fine dark lines, much like the folds in the skin of an elephant’s trunk. When it walks, the caterpillar habitually sways the front segments from side to side, again reminiscent of the movement of an elephant’s trunk. The anal segment bears a short horn. The first two abdominal segments each bear a pair of pink and black eye-like markings. If the caterpillar becomes alarmed, it retracts its head, which compresses the thoracic segments and causes these ‘false eyes’ to expand. This gives the caterpillar a snake-like appearance, which presumably acts as a deterrent to predators.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination