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?
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.