Silverstriped Hawkmoth Caterpillar from South Africa

Subject: Caterpillar on Fuschia
Location: Cape Town, RSA
April 26, 2014 12:16 am
Hello Bugman,
I discovered a lot of these little caterpillars on my fuchsias recently. The change colour from green to purple depending on if they are hiding under the leaf or are on the stem of the plant. It took me a really long time to find them…
I think it is a moth species, but not sure.
Do you know what they are?
Signature: Waldi du Toit

Silverstriped Hawkmoth Caterpillar
Silverstriped Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Hi Waldi,
We are relatively certain that this Hornworm is the Caterpillar of a Silverstriped Hawkmoth,
Hippotion celerio, which we found on Photographs From South Africa.  This is a wide ranging species and it is also known as the Vine Hawkmoth.  According to the Australian website Butterfly House, fuschia is identified as a larval food plant.  Butterfly House also notes:  “It can occur in several different colour forms: green, brown, red or dark grey. It usually has an eyespot each side of the first and second abdominal segments, those on the first segment being larger. There are variable cryptic stripes and bands along the rest of the body. The Caterpillar has a tailhorn curved slightly backwards which tapers to a point.”  We also found documentation of it on this FlickR Pests and Problems page devoted to Fuschia.

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