Ficus Sphinx Green Morph and Tomato Hornworm

Caterpillar ID
I live in South Florida.
I’ve been ‘searching and squishing’ Tomato Hornworm caterpillars on my tomato plants for over a month now. (Resisting temptation to use poisons). I’m sending you a quite nice photo I took of one before the squish, in case you want it for your site. Today I found a large, superficially similar caterpillar on my fig tree. I know it’s not the same. But what is it? I’m including two photos of the ‘fig caterpillar’. I suspect it’s a butterfly. I’ve included a photo of a pair of one species I found mating there, and two of another butterfly that spent a lot of time in the tree. The lone butterfly is a species I’d never even seen before. The tree can well spare a few leaves, and there’s only one of these caterpillars as far as I can tell, so I’ve left it alone. I’m curious to know what it is and if you can identify the butterflies as well, that would be lovely.
Marian Mendez

Ficus Sphinx: Green Morph Tomato Hornworm

Hi Marian,
We are very excited to receive your letter and your wonderful photographs. I have to answer in stages though since the letter will go on multiple pages on our site. First, your unidentified caterpillar is a Ficus Sphinx, Pachylia ficus. There are many color morphs of this caterpillar and we have received an orange, magenta and green version in the past. Bill Oehlke has a wonderful site with photographs of many color morphs of this caterpillar as well as the adult moths. Also check out Marian’s butterflies.

Leave a Comment