Walnut Sphinx Caterpillar

Hissing Catapillar
Location: Ft. Hood, TX
October 19, 2011 1:02 pm
This catapillar started hissing when my wife tried to move it away from her chair. What is it?
Signature: Brian

Walnut Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Brian,
This is the caterpillar of one of the Sphinx Moths or Hawkmoths.  The head and caudal horn are very distinctive in your individual, and we believe this may the the caterpillar of the Walnut Sphinx,
Amorpha juglandis.  There are photos on the Sphingidae of the Americas website that show the similarities and there are also some similar photos on BugGuide which notes:  “larva may produce a whistle-like hiss when handled.”  We will contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can confirm or correct.

Bill Oehkle responds
Yes it is Amorpha juglandis, the walnut sphinx.

2 thoughts on “Walnut Sphinx Caterpillar”

  1. I found this species at my primary school at Melbourne Australia when I was in prep on this following date 3-08-2011 at 1:16 pm at my play time so they called the national Australia wildlife welfare Australia. So I found this first and it was hissing at me when I picked it up and it had eyes like a human being and when I was touching it felt like leather so it was an interesting journey.

    • The Walnut Sphinx is not native to Australia. Other Sphinx Moth caterpillars native to Australia might have similar behavior.


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