Subject: Caterpillar eating Mexican Primrose
Geographic location of the bug: West LosAngeles
Time: 07:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi Bugman,
Is this the caterpillar that’s usually found on tomato plants?
How you want your letter signed: Jeff Bremer
This is a very green variation of the highly variable Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar. Daniel saw thousands of black and yellow Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars munching on the wildflowers in Joshua Tree National Park this spring. When there is significant rainfall in desert areas, there are tremendous population explosions of this species. See BugGuide for an example of a green variant. The Whitelined Sphinx moth is a lovely pollinator that is often mistaken for a hummingbird. Several related species, including the Tobacco Hornworm and Tomato Hornworm feed on tomatoes and other related garden plants.