Gaudy Sphinx Caterpillar

snake caterpillar
What a great site you have. I live on St.John ,US Virgin Islands. Yesterday a friend came by with this huge caterpillar on his baseball cap.He had just picked it up down the street,it was crawling on a fence post.We were all afraid to let it crawl on us because it looked just like a snake. It would follow your fingers with it’s eyes and puff up it’s throat like a cobra (not quite as extreme but definatly threatening) It also had something on it’s tail that looked a little like a third eye or maybe a decoy little antenna that blinked rapidly. Anyway, before we released him, we concluded it must be a lunar moth caterpillar but then I found your site and now we know that is not the case.Any idea what this beauty may be?
Doug Benton
St John VI

Hi Doug,
What marvelous photos of a Gaudy Sphinx Caterpillar, Eumorpha labruscae labruscae. This tropical species is somewhat common in Florida. The caterpillars feed on Possum Vine, Ludwigia, Magnolia, and other plants. The adult is a lovely green moth. There is more information on Bill Oehlke’s amazing site.

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