Friday, July 06, 2012

Sphinx Moth Caterpillar in Grand Junction


We found a sphinx moth caterpillar in our driveway in the Redlands this week. This one appears at first glance to have an "eye" near its rear end on the top of its body. It's head can also appear a bit oversize and flattened because of the way that it almost tucks it back into the front portion of its body.

It is similar in appearance to pictures of the Achemon Sphinx (Eumorpha achemon) that I've found online.

It is also somewhat similar to the Satellite Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha satellitia). So for now I'll just call it a Eumorpha sp. (even though I think that it is most likely an achemon).

Assuming that it is an Achemon Sphinx caterpillar, you can find pictures of the moth that it will become here ~

You can clearly see the "eye" towards the rear of the caterpillar (all that remains of the caudal horn, which is lost after the 4th instar). Apparently these caterpillars are extremely fond of grape leaves, Virginia Creeper, and other similar vines.