Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Subject: Arizona Caterpillars
Location: Congress AZ
September 9, 2012 11:05 pm
Went out this morning to find these little guys all over the ground. I have been in AZ for over 4 yrs now, (5th summer) and I have never seen these before. We have had a lot more rain this summer so we have a lot more vegatation on the ground. They are so thick in this ground cover that you can barely walk without stepping on one. I also noticed that they seem to be trying to burrow into the ground.
Signature: M Lamon

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear M Lamon,
This is the caterpillar of the Whitelined Sphinx,
Hyles lineata, a highly variable caterpillar that is found in all 48 continental states.  Larvae feed on a variety of plants, ensuring the wide range enjoyed by the species.  Numbers can be especially numerous in desert regions where yearly populations fluctuate with the amount of vegetation, and years with more rain produce more vegetation.  In some locations, the caterpillars can be so numerous as to cover the ground, as your letter indicates.  The caterpillars pupate underground which is why you observed so many of them digging beneath the surface.

4 thoughts on “Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar”

  1. They’re all over the place a little north of Kingman this year – 8/2014 – looking forward to a big flush of moths soon. Had a lot of rain, flooding too, earlier in the year here.

  2. Posted amini video of these catipillars latchung in to our rental yard this year (september 2014) never saw them in Arizina prior to this month…they were droppingover neighbirs 6’+ wall!!!!!!


Leave a Comment