Possibly Carolina Sphinx on lime tree in Los Angeles

Subject:  Big bug, hot for limes
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/19/2021
Time: 06:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this fella on my lime tree, just cruising around.
Taken June 7th.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug curious

Hornworm looks like Carolina Sphinx

Dear Bug curious,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth in the Sphingidae family, and it appears to be a Carolina Sphinx which is pictured on BugGuide.  The Carolina Sphinx feeds on the leaves of tomato, pepper and other solanaceous plants and not the leaves of a lime tree.  Do you have tomatoes or other related plants nearby?

Hi Daniel.
The plants nearby are a laurel tree, a rosemary plant, and a Portuguese blood orange tree.
About 50 feet away are some habanero plants, so maybe that’s it.
No tomatoes.
Basil? That’s not far away either, about 50 feet in another direction.

2 thoughts on “Possibly Carolina Sphinx on lime tree in Los Angeles”

  1. Yes, this is a nice and well grown Manduca sexta caterpillar, sitting on a Habanero twig (Capsicum chinense (= C. angulosum); I see this plant is sometimes called “orange-” or “lime-” Habanero, due to the shape and color of its fruits). The smooth and compact leaves are a good food (for caterpillars of M. sexta, which populates the region together with M. quinquemaculata). Nice wishes


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