Subject: Big Green Caterpillar From Suriname
Location: Surinamese interior, South America
July 1, 2012 12:29 pm
Hello Bugman, I was hoping you could help me identify a particular caterpillar I photographed when living in Suriname, South America about ten years ago. Is it a Tobacco Hornworm of some kind? My only source is ”Insects of Suriname” by Maria Sibylla Merian and her illustrations are over 200 years old, so I can’t be sure. Suriname doesn’t have any seasons, apart from Rainy vs. Dry, but I can tell you I took this picture in the Rainy season. Thanks in advance!
Signature: Brian

Hornworm:  Cocytius antaeus

Hi Brian,
You are correct that this is some species of Hornworm in the family Sphingidae, however, it is not a Tobacco Hornworm.  Though Maria Sibylla Merian’s book is awesome, it is not ideal for identification purposes.  You can try browsing the 100 or so species on the Sphingidae of the Americas Suriname page to get an identification.  If you get the answer, please write back to us.

Location: Suriname

4 Responses to Hornworm from Suriname: Cocytius antaeus

  1. Linda Chamberlain says:

    Giant sphinx, Cocytius antaeus.
    This species typically feeds on trees in Genus Annona.

  2. Bostjan Dvorak says:

    Nice to find this interesting record on this wonderful site, after some years!

    It is obviously an almost grown up caterpillar of a Cocytius (/Amphonyx) species on the twig of an Annonaceae plant. According to this coloration with the dark horn, one pair of the lateral stripes and the central line, almost certainly Cocytius antaeus.

    Best wishes
    Bostjan Dvorak

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for this identification on this old posting Bostjan. Interesting, there is another comment that we missed previously that makes the same identification.

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