Subject: Caterpillar in San Diego
Location: San Diego
October 13, 2014 2:32 pm
I was out harvesting the last of our peppers when I heard something rustling through the leaves. I look for it expecting a lizard when I find this caterpillar moving across the ground at warp speed. I’ve seen a lot of caterpillars in our yard, but this is the first time I’ve seen one like this. I’m hoping someone can tell me what it is. Thxs!
This is an Ello Sphinx Caterpillar, and we confirmed the identification on the Sphingidae of the Americas website where it lists the food plants as: “Larvae feed on papaya (Carica papaya) in the Caricaceae family and on Cnidoscolus angustidens and other plants in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) including poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), guava (Psidium species) in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) and on also saffron plum (Bumelia angustifolia/Bumelia celastrina) in the Sapotaceae family. : EUPHORBIACEAE. Manilkara bahamensis has also been reported as a host as have Willow Bustic (Bumelia salicifolia) and Painted Leaf (Poinsettia heterophylla).” We are guessing you may have a nearby papaya tree, or perhaps a guava.
Thanks for the identification! Yes, we have a guava tree in our yard, which is loaded with fruit right now.
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