Sphinx Caterpillar from Peru may be Giant Sphinx

green hornworm in Lima, Peru, South America
Location: south america, Peru
April 8, 2011 12:03 pm
Well, my friend posteed this picture in facebook and said that this is a waxd moth caterpillar, but I think that this is impossible because waxed moth is onkly found in Norht America while this thing is in the south. I think that this is either an archemon sphinix or a satellite sphinix. could you tell me its real name? thanks.
Signature: shi chen

Giant Sphinx Hornworm, we believe

Dear shi chen,
We have not had any luck identifying this Hornworm, however, your best resource will probably be the Sphingidae of the Americas Peru webpage.  We do not believe it is either the Achemon Sphinx nor the Satellite Sphinx.  Can you provide the name of the food plant?

April 15, 2011
An update: my friend told me that he had found three of these kinds of hornworm. Unluckly, 2 of them was gone after he returned few days later and so he only have that worm picture. He did mentioned that the other 2 have white stripes opn them. Also these worms are resting on :an olive tree, a cherimoya tree, and an unkonw green shrub (probably another fruit tree). He also mentioned that the the picture of the wormhorm that I had sent you has faded white stripes. This can be told when the contrast of the picture is risen, which that’s how he did it. This probably means that this some of pillar’s white stripes had faded away after growing to certain size. This is my upadated information. Hope you have luck in identifying the caterpillar. Thanks.
Shi Chen

Update:  July 22, 2018
The research we did because of a new Hornworm posting we made has caused us to believe this is a Giant Sphinx Hornworm, Cocytius antaeus, a species that feeds on the leaves of cherimoya and has recently been reported in Southern California.

4 thoughts on “Sphinx Caterpillar from Peru may be Giant Sphinx”

  1. This is a Cocytius antaeus caterpillar, I suppose, at least it looks very much like one. The plant on which You have found and photographed it could be an Annona species…
    It is great to find such a spectacular species in the wild, and it is great to read the news and to see the pictures on this wonderful site!

    Nice regards and happy Easter!

    Bostjan Dvorak

    • Dear Bostjan,
      Thanks for your comment and kind holiday wishes. We have just returned to the office and there are countless emails that have arrived in our absence. We will only be able to respond to a few and we will try to post a few new letters today.

    • wow, i just noticed your answer like 5 years later…. my bad

      Thanks for identifying it! It does looks like a giant sphinx’s larva!

    • wow, i just noticed your answer like 5 years later…. my bad

      Thanks for identifying it! It does looks like a giant sphinx’s larva!


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