Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar

Western Tiger Swallowtail catepillar
October 27, 2009
I was wondering why the leaves of my penta plant were disappearing. Then this morning I found these “eyes” staring at me. At first I thought it was a plastic toy! What an amazing critter.
Sugar Land, TX

Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar
Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Marabelle
Though it resembles a Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar, your critter is a Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar.  The Swallowtail has one set of eyespots, while the Tersa Sphinx has numerous eyespots.  The Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar does not have a caudal horn, and the Tersa Sphinx does possess a caudal horn.  Sphinx Moth caterpillars are often called Hornworms.  Penta is a typical food plant for the Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar.

1 thought on “Tersa Sphinx Caterpillar”

  1. Hi there, my wife found one of these in our garden this morning, it was bright green, around 3 iinches long fatter than my index finger with a prominent round head with big black eyes and a single spike on it’s rear-end. We live in Essex England.


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