Currently viewing the category: "Hornworms"
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Subject: Unidentified sphinx moth caterpillar from Indonesia
Location: Seminyak, Bali
March 15, 2017 3:01 pm
When I was visiting Bali, I found 3 of these caterpillars feeding on an unidentified bush. I took one of them with me to rear as I travelled. It grew very quick and turned a brown colour in its final instar. When I was in java the following week I found the same plant with the same caterpillars on it. I walked past the plant in the evening and saw a hummingbird like hawkmoth fluttering over the leaves depositing eggs. If you need more pictures I have documentation of every instar. Thankyou/ Joey
Signature: Joey Twomey


Dear Joey,
We haven’t the time to research your query this morning, but we are posting your image nonetheless.  Perhaps Bostjan, who frequently identifies Hornworms for us, will recognize this individual.  Knowing the plant upon which it was feeding would be a tremendous clue in ascertaining its identity.  We would love to post a few more images.

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Subject: White Lined Sphinx Moth?
Location: Nevada, USA
February 28, 2017 6:38 am
Would this be a cocoon or pupae?
My neighbor found it in her garage so I placed in a protected outdoor plant, just barely covered with soil. I live in Las Vegas, NV & it’s Feb 28, with currently 45degree lows. I’ve seen many White Lined Sphinx Moths around here so I’m guessing that’s what I have. Did I do the right thing with it? I’ve also included a photo of a tree in my yard which has white flowers that remain open at night. There are also many wild Primrose plants growing in the desert near me.
Signature: Renee Rhodes

Manduca Pupa

Dear Renee,
This is definitely a Sphinx Pupa, but is it not that of a Whitelined Sphinx.  Your individual has a “handle” that is the casing for the proboscis and that detached casing is absent in the Whitelined Sphinx Pupa that is pictured on Sphingidae of the Americas.  We believe your individual is from the genus
Manduca that contains at least two species that feed on the leaves of tomato plants and other related plants in the family.  See images on Things Biological and Russell Labs.  

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Subject: Sphinx moth or tomato?
Location: SW New Mexico – near Silvercity
February 7, 2017 9:01 am
Greetings, I thought this was a sphinx moth caterpillar but someone else suggested it was a tomato worm. BTW – there were definitely sphinx moths out the same day that I took this photo. But there was also a different kind of horn worm out there also.
Signature: Narglyph

Tomato Hornworm

Dear Narglyph,
Sphinx Moth Caterpillars and “Tomato Worms” are not mutually exclusive because several species of Sphinx Moths have larvae that feed on tomato and other plants in the family, and the larvae are known as Hornworms.  Your individual appears to be the dark form of
Manduca quinquemaculata, the Five Spotted Hawkmoth and its larva is known as the Tomato Hornworm which appears in both green and dark forms.  You can compare your individual to this very dark individual pictured on BugGuide.

Thanks – I took the photo a while ago and I didn’t get pictures of what it was feeding on. A friend is writing an archaeological report on sphinx moths and datura and wanted to make sure she was getting the photos labeled correctly. I will pass on the info to you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: India
February 3, 2017 7:29 am
Please identify
Signature: Promila

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Promila,
We have several images in our archives from India of Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillars, and we suspect you found this individual not far from an oleander shrub.  The adult Oleander Hawkmoth is a lovely green moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Swallowtail Catterpillar
Location: New Delhi India
January 4, 2017 4:55 am
You’ve been very helpful till now, i found this fat big caterpillar, i think it is a swallowtail, but which species ?
thank you kindly
Signature: Aditi

Oleander Hawkmoth Hornworm

Dear Aditi,
This is not a Swallowtail Caterpillar, and it is not even a Butterfly Caterpillar, but rather a Hawkmoth Caterpillar, commonly called a Hornworm.  It is an Oleander Hawkmoth Hornworm.  It will mature into an Oleander Hawkmoth, so we are speculating there was an oleander shrub nearby.  The species is not found without oleander.

Hey Daniel,
I figured after sending you a request, as i was googling more caterpillars with black markings, we have Yellow Oleander trees in access. Thanks,

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Subject: caterpillar, South Africa
Location: Pretoria, Villieria, South Africa
December 17, 2016 2:11 pm
I found my cat playing with this in my garden today, with a lot of interested birds hanging about. I rescued it and tried to put it in a safe place back into my garden after taking this pic. Couldn’t find it there later, so, hope it managed to hide itself again. Luckily it had no injuries.
It made a loud clicking sound with its mouthparts which I assume was a defence response to scare off any predators.
I’ve tried to google to find out what it is. The nearest thing I found was a sphinx moth caterpillar in America, but not this specific form which I assume is endemic to South Africa. I have seen sphinx moths growing up here as a child, but very rarely so. It has a tail spike which looks a bit like a flower stamen – it has little yellow nodules on it.
Hoping you guys can help out.
Signature: a wild gardener

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear wild gardener,
You are correct that this is the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae.  More specifically, it is a Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Acherontia atropos.

Thanks! These moths are very rare, I hope the caterpillar makes it to mothood! :} Your link to the South African biodiversity site not longer works, herewith the updated link:

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