Currently viewing the category: "moth caterpillars"

Rustic Sphix caterpillar?
I live in Queen Creek Arizona. This morning my 2.5 year old son was looking out the front window and telling me he saw a millipede outside (we found a small one in the house one time and since then he’s wanted to see one again). We went outside and found not a millipede but THE BIGGEST CATERPILLAR I HAVE EVER SEEN! It was a little cool out this morning and the caterpillar was laying on the even cooler cement and not moving much, there was also some “moisture” coming from its mouth region. I assumed it wasn’t doing so well. My son wanted to look at it some more so I put it in a plastic box and took it inside. The caterpillar perked right up…I’m assuming because it was warmer in the house. I was interested to know what this caterpillar was so I got on the internet and did some research (that is actually how I found your website a few months ago when I was trying to figure what type of spider I was seeing all over my house. I love your website!) I think I have narrowed this caterpillar down to some kind of “sphix” caterpillar and I think it is a rustic sphix. Am I right? Please let me know.

Hi Steph,
We agree with your Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar identification. Just before pupation, many caterpillars turn pink, orange or brown. Also, before pupation, those that burrow in the ground leave the food plant and become more visible. This is often in the autumn. Give your caterpillar some loose soil and it will burrow and pupate.

caterpillar ID help
I would appreciate your help with identifying this caterpillar. It was photographed near the road at Sumatra, Apalachicola National Forest, Florida, USA, Thank you

Hi Fero,
What a nice photo of a Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar.

Some type of sphinx moth caterpillar?
Ridgecrest, CA (Mojave Desert), found exactly as pictured, today, in graveled area next to house. It doesn’t fit the White-Lined Sphinx Moth, which I know we have in the area. About 3.5 in long, 0.5 in diameter. I perused a couple of pages on your site and did not find any match, especially that central eye-like marking. Thanks,

Hi Jean,
This is an Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar, Eumorpha achemon. The caterpillars feed on grape leaves, Virginia creeper and other vines.

Ed. Note:
August 30, 2009
While subclassifying our caterpillar archive, we realize we did not link to Bill Oehlke’s page on the Achemon Sphinx, nor mention the unusual coloration of this specimen.  This species usually has a brown, orange or green caterpillar, and this pink specimen is a bit unusual.

Killer catepillar
Any idea what this nasty little critter is? My husband brushed up against these while trimming a tree in our yard on the beach in Mexico. Sent him to emergency room. He said it hurt worse than when he ran over his foot with lawnmower. In severe pain for nearly 48 hours. Thanks for the help.
Diane & Mike Prewett
Darien, GA
Chicxulub, Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico

Hi Diane and Mike,
There are several U.S. sites devoted to stinging caterpillars. We do not recognize your Mexican species, but will try to research a more definite answer.

Unknown Caterpillar From Arkansas
I found this caterpillar on an asphalt parking lot at Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas on October 6, 2006 at about 3:00 PM. My description of this caterpillar is: Smooth segmented, non-hairy, pinkish gray body with dark pink linear and blotch markings on dorsal area. Two dark pink spots at bottom last two segments. White spiracles, short black stalk eyes, with a strong, smooth mouth. I have never seen a caterpillar like this in Arkansas and would like to know any information about it.
Ed Gardner
Edmond, OK

Hi Ed,
This is the caterpillar of a Prominent Moth in the genus Heterocampa.

Caterpillars of Syntomeida epilais Walker, 1854
Dear Daniel and Lisa Anne,
I think so far you have only one (not very beautiful) image of the Oleander caterpillar, the young of the Polkadot Wasp Moth, Syntomeida epilais Walker, 1854, so I thought you might possibly like some prettier shots. I found them in May of 2006, chewing on an Oleander bush at 1,000 feet, on the island of Nevis, Leeward Islands, West Indies. When he saw these caterpillars, my spouse was surprised and said that they looked sort of like a toothbrush! (A Halloween toothbrush maybe?)
Best to you,
Susan J. Hewitt

Hi Susan,
Your submission is so timely, since we just posted a letter with a photo of the adult Polka-Dot Wasp Moth.