Subject: What is this caterpillar
Location: Paphos Cyprus
October 12, 2016 4:02 am
There are a lot of these very mobile caterpillars in the hedges around our villa in Cyprus – we guess they are Hawk Moths but something more specific would be appreciated. They are light green over 30mm long with a ponounced rear face with yellow horn , longitudinal stripes either side and light coloured almost illuminous vertical stripes. The front face has small whitish eyes st back along the head.
Signature: Regards Ray
As you noticed, the backward facing yellow horn is quite distinctive, and also indicative that this is a Hawkmoth caterpillar or Hornworm in the family Sphingidae. Is there much oleander growing in the vicinity where they were discovered? This is a very green Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar, Daphnis nerii, and according to Wildscreen Arkive: “As they get older, the larvae become green to brown with a large blue-and-white eyespot near the head and a yellow ‘horn’ on the rear. There is also a white band along the side of the body, with a scattering of small white and bluish dots alongside it. The spiracles on the sides of the body are black. Older oleander hawk-moth larvae measure around 7.5 to 8.5 centimetres in length. Just before it pupates, the oleander hawk-moth larva becomes browner in colour. ” Most images of Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillars on our site are pre-pupal and browner in color.