Currently viewing the category: "Hornworms"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Handsome Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern lower peninsula MI
Date: 07/19/2019
Time: 09:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this caterpiller eating the Gopher Spurge that’s been growing in our garden. He’s really pretty, and we’re not going to bother him but we would really like to know what kind of moth or butterfly he will become. I cant find anything like it in searches.
How you want your letter signed:  Observer

Leafy Spurge Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Observer,
We confirmed the identification of your Leafy Spurge Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Hyles euphorbiae, on Sphingidae of the Americas where it states:  “The leafy spurge hawk moth,  Hyles euphorbiae (length: 2-3 cm, wingspan: 5-7 cm), was the first classical biological agent released against leafy spurge in the United States, with approval for introduction granted in 1965. Populations of this insect are present in several western states, including Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, Wyoming, Minnesota and Oregon, and now Washington (Spokane County). The moth was also introduced from Europe into Ontario, Canada, and then into Alberta where specimens are occasionally still taken. “

Leafy Spurge Hawkmoth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cyclops Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
Date: 07/18/2019
Time: 10:32 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw a few of these guys and thought they were wild looking. I have never seen them before. Found them in mid summer.
How you want your letter signed:  RyeTye

Abbott’s Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear RyeTye,
We love your name “Cyclops Caterpillar.”  This is actually an Abbott’s Sphinx Caterpillar and we have gotten many letters regarding them this season.  The Abbott’s Sphinx is a moth in the family Sphingidae, and most caterpillars in the family have a caudal horn, giving rise to the common name Hornworm.  Some species like the Abbott’s Sphinx eventually shed the horn, leaving only a caudal bump that resembles an eye.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large green caterpillar with blue tail.
Geographic location of the bug:  City of Lake Forest Park, WA
Date: 07/15/2019
Time: 08:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This thing fell out of a willow tree onto our deck on 7-15-2019.  It has a yellow band around its head and a blue horn near its rear.  A close match I found is the Limehawk Moth caterpillar, but it’s on the wrong continent for that (indigenous to UK), and the rear end is different.  I have it contained until I can positively ID it and that it’s not invasive or harmful.
How you want your letter signed:  Greg Goebel

Hornworm: Smerinthus ophthalmica

Dear Greg,
We identified your Hornworm from the family Sphingidae as
 Smerinthus ophthalmica based on images on the Sphingidae of the Americas site.  Alas this beautiful moth has no common name, and we believe this might be our first image of a Hornworm from this species posted to our site.

Hornworm: Smerinthus ophthalmica

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this an Abotts Sphinx caterpillar?
Geographic location of the bug:  St. Claude Manitoba
Date: 07/12/2019
Time: 10:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you verify which caterpillar this may be? He’s been munching on my grape vine leaves.
How you want your letter signed:  Pauline

Abbott’s Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Pauline,
This is indeed one of the color variations of the Abbott’s Sphinx caterpillar which you can verify on Sphingidae of the Americas where it states:  “Larvae feed at night on grape (
Vitis) and ampelopsis (Ampelopsis) and hide on the bark of their host plants during the day.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Sphinx leucopheata caterpillar by Prema
Geographic location of the bug:  Lago Atitlán
Date: 06/19/2019
Time: 05:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Prema, dear Daniel,
Many Thanks for Your nice replies. – I am attaching my sketch of this caterpillar type on the plant leaves from 2016; maybe they are similar to those of the plant on (resp. under) which You found Your caterpillar; maybe an ash species (Fraxinus, Oleaceae) or a Bignoniaceae-member like Tecoma stans (with plenty of yellow tubular blossoms), a tree from the Trumpet-tree-family.  Thank You again for sharing, and have a great celebration!
Best from Berlin,
Bostjan
How you want your letter signed:  Dr. Bostjan Dvorak

Sketch of Sphinx leucopheata by Dr. Bostjan Dvorak

Dear Bostjan,
Thanks so much for providing us with your sketch of this rare Hornworm.  Daniel adjusted the levels to saturate the image a bit to improve its appearance on the internet.  Thanks again for your assistance in identifying Prema’s Hornworm from Guatemala as
Sphinx leucopheata.

Sphinx leucopheata image by Prema

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Identifying this grub or caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Date: 06/16/2019
Time: 09:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
Can you tell me what type of grub or caterpillar this is? It is bright green, red/ purple and white with a spiral
‘tail’. Around 3 inches long.
How you want your letter signed:  Prema

Hornworm:  Sphinx leucopheata

Dear Prema,
This image is positively gorgeous.  It is such a lovely study in subtle green colors and patterns.  This is a Hornworm, the larva of a Hawk Moth or Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae, but we are not certain of the species.  We are posting it as unidentified as we continue to research the species.  Perhaps Bostjan will notice the posting and provide an identification.

Update:  This looks to us like it might be Manduca hannibal hannibal, which is pictured on Sphingidae of the Americas.  When Daniel returns to the office, he will contact Bill Oehlke for his opinion.

Thanks so much, Daniel!
I have it out there to a few naturalists here on Lake Atitlan.
I will let you know if I find out anything.
Best,
Prema

We would love to hear what you find out Prema.  Do you by chance know the plant upon which it was feeding?

Sphinx leucopheata image by Prema

Good Morning Daniel,
I found it on the pathway near our house in Paxanax, Santa Cruz la Laguna, Lake Atitlan. Hence the one photo of it on the stone path and then the second one on the leaf. We moved it off the path unto the side where there were plants.
Thanks,

Hello Bostjan and Daniel,
Thanks so much for the information about this beautiful caterpillar! I will share it with my friends here at the Lake. I have to say that the photos have stirred up quite a fuss and people are anxious to know what species it is.
My friend and I found it on the pathway near our house in Paxanax, Santa Cruz la Laguna, Lake Atitlan. Hence the one photo of it on the stone path and then the second one on the leaf. We moved it off the path unto the side where there were plants away from any potential harm.
I will be in touch if I see this beauty again.
If you ever come to Lake Atitlan please contact me. We have many beautiful and amazing insects here 🙂
Warm regards,
Prema

Update with Request:  June 20, 2019
Hello again Prema.  Dr. Bostjan Dvorak just submitted a sketch of this Hornworm species he made in 2016 and we have posted it.  We have one additional request.  Bill Oehlke maintains an excellent website called Sphingidae of the Americas and he frequently assists us with identifications.  He has an image of an adult Sphinx leucopheata on Sphingidae of the Americas, but he has no images of the larvae.  When Daniel returns to the WTB? office on Friday (he is currently on holiday in Ohio) he would like permission to submit your awesome images so he can provide his readership with documentation of the caterpillar.

Good Morning Daniel,
Absolutely! Big thanks to the team at WTB and your colleagues for all the work you do on the planet.
Have a great day!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination