White Lined Sphinx Caterpillar

Subject: horned caterpillar
Location: Mannington, New Jersey
September 4, 2012 1:34 pm
A friend found two of these caterpillars crossing her driveway. The lawn it crossed is very large and bordered by woods. It reminds me of a Tomato Hornworm but the spots are very different and it does not have the diagonal stripes. It is 2.5 inches in length.
Signature: MEP

White Lined Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear MEP,
Late summer and early autumn caterpillar sightings are very common because the caterpillars have reached their full size and often leave the plants upon which they were feeding to seek appropriate places for pupation.  You caterpillar is that of the highly variable White Lined Sphinx, and it is in the same family as the Tomato Hornworm.  White Lined Sphinx caterpillars range in color from black through orange and yellow to green.  Your individual is greener than we usually see.

6 thoughts on “White Lined Sphinx Caterpillar”

  1. I saw your post on theis caterpillar. I found one similar to this picture in mid Missouri. are they found generally here as well? Just curious for my classroom what it will eat so the kids can observe him for a bit. Thanks.

    • They are found in all 48 lower states as well as Canada and Mexico. According to The Butterflies and Moths of North America, the caterpillars feed on: ” A great diversity of plants including willow weed (Epilobium), four o’clock (Mirabilis), apple (Malus), evening primrose (Oenothera), elm (Ulmus), grape (Vitis), tomato (Lycopersicon), purslane (Portulaca), and Fuschia.”


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