Subject: unknown “caterpillar”
Geographic location of the bug: Buda, Tx (between Austin & San Marcos)
Time: 06:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: It was walking across sidewalk underneath Elm trees. White stripes were new to me. Prob going to find its common!
How you want your letter signed: Mike Cato
This is the caterpillar of a moth in the family Sphingidae, and most caterpillars in the family have caudal horns, and they are known as Hornworms. There are several genera that have most if not all species shedding the horn as the caterpillar grows. Your hornless Hornworm is in the genus Eumorpha, but we are not certain of the species. It might be the Satellite Sphinx, pictured on BugGuide, or it might be the Vine Sphinx, also pictured on BugGuide. We will attempt to contact Bill Oehlke to get his opinion, and it is possible that frequent contributor to our site, Bostjan Dvorak, will recognize it and provide a comment.
Facebook Posting from James Lee Phillips: “I’m really sad for the hornless hornworms. They deserve a less existentialist taxonomy.”